Court Rules Palestinian Filmmaker Must Pay Damages To Israeli Soldier Who Took Part in Massacre

By Miko Peled

Source

“Jenin, Jenin” documents a deadly Israeli assault on a Palestinian refugee camp that left hundreds of civilians dead and over fifteen hundred wounded, and its release has caused an uproar in Israeli society.

In a particularly draconian decision, an Israeli court has ruled that the documentary film “Jenin, Jenin” will be banned from screening in Israel. Additionally, all copies of the film must be collected and destroyed. The court went even further and ordered producer, director, and actor Mohammad Bakri, the man behind the film which documents the Israeli assault on the Jenin refugee camp, must pay damages to an Israeli officer who participated in the massacre and appears in the film for about five seconds. 

Israel’s military invasion of the Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin and the slaughter which followed took place in March of 2002. The army entered the camp with tanks, special forces, commando units, and several reservist brigades. The camp was bombarded from the air and from the ground. Several hundred Palestinian fighters fought heroically, armed with nothing but semiautomatic rifles and rudimentary guerrilla warfare skills. Twenty-five Israeli soldiers lost their lives in the camp and countless Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed.

Silencing the survivors’ point of view

Jenin, Jenin” includes testimony from people of all ages who lived through the Israeli assault on the camp. There is no question that hearing the descriptions and experiences of the survivors of that awful trauma is heart-wrenching. But Bakri himself never makes any direct accusations in the film. He shows footage of Israeli soldiers, tanks, and armored personnel carriers, and of Palestinians being arrested, but at no point in the movie is an actual accusation made and it is clear that the only perspectives offered in the film are from those who live in the camp.

Protests erupted in Israel as soon as the movie was shown. Bakri was called a Nazi and slandered by the press and the public for daring to show what Palestinians had experienced at the hands of the Israeli soldiers who entered the camp. Soldiers who had participated in what is known as “The Battle of Jenin” demanded that Israeli authorities censor the movie and not allow theaters to show it, and they eventually got their way.

Jenin Refugee Camp
Palestinian rescue workers search for human remains in the rubble of the Hawashin district. No heavy equipment was available during the first days after the fighting had ended, and rescue workers had to dig through the rubble with their hands. Jenin Refugee Camp, 2002. Peter Bouckaert | Human Rights Watch
Jenin Refugee Camp
A young boy is treated at the Jenin hospital moments after he and his friend were wounded in an explosion in the Jenin refugee camp. His friend died the next morning. The Jenin refugee camp was strewn with leftover Palestinian explosives and unexploded Israeli ordinance after the attack, causing additional injuries and deaths. Jenin Refugee Camp, 2002. Peter Bouckaert | Human Rights Watch

The film was banned by the Israeli Film Ratings Board on the premise that it was libelous and might offend the public. Bakri appealed the decision and the case went all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court, which ultimately overturned the board’s decision. Since then, those who have participated in the assault have been looking for ways to challenge the film. 

In November 2016, Nissim Meghnagi, a reserve officer who took part in Operation Defensive Shield, also known as the massacre at the Jenin refugee camp, sued Bakri for 2.6 million shekels, the equivalent of around 745,000 U.S. dollars. In his suit, Meghnagi claimed that he appears in, and was named in the film and that it libeled Israeli soldiers by presenting them as war criminals. 

Bakri argued, correctly, that the purpose of the lawsuit was persecution and political silencing, and that the movie makes no accusation against Meghnagi specifically. It only shows, Bakri continuously yet fruitlessly claimed, the point of view of the Palestinians who experienced the onslaught on the camp. Still, the District Court in the Israeli-occupied city of Lyd ruled in Meghnagi’s favor and ordered Bakri to pay Meghnagi the equivalent of $55,000. Now the case is expected to go back to the Supreme Court.

A History of War Crimes

Israeli forces did not allow the Red Cross or any other international observers to enter the camp for many days after the assault was over. This allowed them to clean up the camp before anyone from the outside was able to witness what had been done.

Israeli authorities, courts, media, and public opinion tend to view Palestinian claims regarding human rights abuses, violence, and massacres committed by military units as lies. Internal investigations by the military and other Israeli government agencies rarely find Israeli forces guilty of any crimes.

The reason that “Jenin, Jenin” created such a strong reaction in Israel is that the people involved, and even those who were not directly involved, know that Israel has a history of atrocities and war crimes. Israel claims that the IDF is the “most moral army in the world,” yet almost every single Israeli has either been witness to or knows someone who has witnessed – or even committed – atrocities. 

Committing war crimes of all kinds is a deeply rooted tradition in the Israeli military. It goes back to the earliest days of the pre-state era when Zionist militias operated before an actual Israeli Army was formed. These militias were turned into an organized army in the middle of the 1948 ethnic cleansing campaign of Palestine. They were in the midst of committing a horrendous crime for which no one has yet been brought to justice when they became an official army and when Jewish Zionist settlers in Palestine became citizens of a newly established Apartheid State, a state whose very establishment was a war crime.

This is why there is such opposition to the movie and to Mohammad Bakri himself amongst Israelis. Bakri touched an open nerve and because as a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, he also happens to be a household name among Israelis, Israelis are furious at him. Bakri dared to enter the camp and to talk to its residents without showing what is commonly known as “the other side.”  Furthermore, as is made very clear throughout the movie, the spirit of the people in the camp remains undefeated. 

Over and over again throughout the movie, we hear survivors of the assault, even as they sit on the rubble of their own homes, repeat that they will rebuild the camp house by house and that they will never surrender. This is hardly the message that Israelis – who only a short time before had voted for the notorious Ariel Sharon to be their prime minister – want to hear.

The Driver of a D9

On May 31, 2002, Israeli journalist Tsadok Yehazkeli, working for the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot, published an article in Hebrew about the driver of a D9 bulldozer who went by the moniker, “Bear the Kurd.” “Bear” made a name for himself during the assault on the Jenin refugee camp, when for 72 hours straight he drove his bulldozer into countess houses and destroyed everything in his path, ramming into homes regardless of whether or not they were inhabited. 

He was quoted as saying “I made them a football stadium,” and “I have no regrets. I’m proud of my work,” and, “I never gave the people a chance to run out of the houses before I ran over them and ruined the houses with my bulldozer.” None of this is shown or mentioned in Bakri’s film yet it provides a picture of the atmosphere among the Israeli troops that entered the camp.

The army unit in which the D9 driver operated went on to receive a medal for its actions during the assault, and the man known as “Bear the Kurd” became a hero to the troops. Because so many were buried under the rubble, to this day no one knows how many Palestinians were killed in 2002 at the Jenin refugee camp.

It is hard to anticipate what the Israeli Supreme Court will rule when it hears the Bakri case. However, in a state that was built on war crimes and atrocities, one may expect that all branches of government will work together to keep the truth from coming out. Either way, few Israeli war crimes are as documented as this one, and so “Jenin, Jenin” must be viewed and shared widely.

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine 31 December 2020 – 06 January 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine
31 December 2020 – 06 January 2021
  • Palestinian man killed near “Gush Etzion” Junction, southern Bethlehem, in an alleged stab attack
  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 30 Palestinians wounded, including 4 children and a paramedic
  • 9 IOF shootings reported at Palestinians and agricultural lands, and 3 times at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip
  • In 79 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 58 civilians arrested, including 11 children
  • Wide-scale land razing in the West Bank and 4050 trees uprooted; Bethlehem lands’ confiscation decision ratified
  • Occupied East Jerusalem: one house received evacuation order; 6 walls, a water well and a barracks demolished
  • Settler-attacks in the West Bank: 300 trees uprooted; civilians and their properties assaulted
  • IOF established 56 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 2 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints




Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. This week witnessed an escalation in settler attacks, mainly stone throwing at civilian houses and vehicles in the West Bank. Additionally, IOF demolitions of Palestinian homes and properties continued as part of Israel’s de facto annexation and under various pretexts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

This week, PCHR documented 189 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt. It should be noted that the limitations due to the corona virus pandemic, has limited PCHR’s fieldworkers mobility and ability to conduct field documentation; therefore, the information contained in this report are only part of the continued IOF violations.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

IOF killed one Palestinian and wounded 30 civilians, including 4 children and a paramedic in excessive use of force in the West Bank: ‘Ahed ‘Abed al-Rahman Mahmoud Qawqas Ekhlayl (25) from Hebron was killed on 05 January 2021 near “Gush Etzion” Junction in the southern parts of Bethlehem. IOF alleged the victim attempted to stab Israeli soldiers. Moreover, IOF wounded 14 Palestinians, including a child and a paramedic, in its oppression of a peaceful protest in Deir Jarir – Ramallah; 8 others sustained wounds in IOF attack on Kafr Qaddum weekly protest in Qalqilya; another child was injured in IOF attack on another protest in northern Qalqilya; and three sustained wounds, including a father and son, near the Annexation Wall in Jenin. Also, another Palestinian from Hebron was shot from a close distance by Israeli soldiers without any threat to their security; his injury resulted in complete paralysis.

In the Gaza Strip, 9 IOF shootings were reported at agricultural lands, and three times at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 79 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 58 Palestinians were arrested, including 11 children.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern Khan Younis.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 9 incidents, including:

  • Occupied East Jerusalem: house floor self-demolished; evacuation decision issued against a house in Silwan; 6 walls, a well and a barracks were demolished in Anata.
  • Nablus: construction vehicle detained in Rujeib.
  • Salfit: 550 trees razed in Biddya; 300 dunums razed and 3500 trees uprooted in Deir Ballut.
  • Bethlehem: Israel ratifies land confiscation for settlement expansion; agricultural room demolished in al-Khader.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 16 settler-violence incidents:

  • Salfit: 300 trees uprooted, and a notice of land confiscation placed; sand and blocks put in a land in Deit Ballut.
  • Nablus: attacks on the streets and stones thrown at vehicles passing by the entrance of “Homesh” settlement; assaults with stones on civilian houses in Huwara where a Palestinian woman sustained wounds; attacks on Ramallah – Nablus road damaging a journalist’s vehicle; al-Khan area assaulted and an attempted confiscation of the area.
  • Qalqilya: attacks and stone throwing on the main street near Kafr Qaddum.
  • Hebron: civilians and farmers assaulted in southern Yatta.
  • Bethlehem: sewage water flooded lands in Husan village on wide-scale.

 Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.

      I. Shootings and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity
  • At approximately 13:45 on Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Abu Safiyia area, northeast of Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at the border area; no causalities or material damage were reported.
  • At approximately 15:45, IOF stationed in the memorial site, southeast of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at the border area, causing fear among Palestinian farmers; no causalities or material damage were reported.
  • At approximately 01:40 on Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stoned and empty bottles at Israeli vehicles. Israeli soldiers stepped out of the military vehicles, stationed between residential houses and fired teargas canisters and sound bombs at stone-throwers. As a result, many of Palestinian young men suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Clashes continued until 03:00 and IOF withdrew later; no raids to houses were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00, a peaceful protest took off in front of Beit Dajan village council, east of Nablus, north of the West Bank, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the National Action Factions in Nablus, towards lands under the threat of confiscation, east of the village. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, settlers, annexation wall and deal of the century. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. The protestors chanted slogans again against the Israeli occupation and settlers. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 11:30, a peaceful protest took off in front of Deir Jarir village council, northeast of Ramallah, in the center of the West Bank, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the National Action Factions in the area, towards lands under the threat of confiscation and in protest to the establishment of new settlement outposts in al-Shurfa area, where Israeli settlers set up a tent and conducted excavation works on the village’s agricultural lands. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, settlers, annexation wall and deal of the century. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. The protestors performed the Friday prayer on the lands under the threat of confiscation while Israeli soldiers surrounding them. Following the Friday prayer, the protestors chanted slogans again against the Israeli occupation and settlers. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 14 protestors, including a paramedic and a child, were wounded; 2 were shot with rubber bullets, while the rest sustained teargas canisters shrapnel wounds and received treatment on the spot. The wounded were:
  • The paramedic Ahmed Mohammed ‘Alawi (25), shot with a rubber bullet in his foot;
  • A 20-year-olf male, shot with a rubber bullet in his head.

Both of them were taken to Silwad Medical Center for treatment. Also, dozens of protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.

  • Around the same time, a group of Palestinian young men gathered in the eastern outskirts of Kafr Malik village, near ‘Ein al-Samiyia area, northeast of Ramallah. The Palestinian young men threw stones at IOF stationed at the entrance to ‘Ein al-Samiyia area, which is closed with sand berms. IOF fired heavy sound bombs and teargas canister at the stone-throwers and chased them between agricultural fields. As a result, many stone-throwers suffocated due to teargas inhalation; no arrests among them were reported.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased Palestinian young men gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, 8 protestors, including 2 children, were shot with rubber bullets and another protestor was shot with a teargas canister.
  • At approximately 13:30, Haroun Rasmi Yousef Abu ‘Arram (23), was shot with a live bullet in his neck from the left side by an Israeli soldier when he attempted to prevent IOF from confiscating an electric generator in Kherbet al-Rakiz, east of Yatta city, south of Hebron. According to investigations conducted by PCHR’s fieldworker, at approximately 13:00 on Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbet al-Rakiz, east of Yatta City, south of Hebron, and stationed near Ashraf Khalil Abu ‘Arram’s (39) house. The Israeli Civil Administration officers raided and a searched a cave, where Abu ‘Arram lives, in addition to a tin-plate barrack used for breeding livestock.

The Israeli Civil Administration officers confiscated an electric generator and other tools. When Abu ‘Arram attempted to stop them, an Israeli Civil Administration officer beat him with a gun butt in the left side of his head , pushed him to the ground and kicked him in his back and abdomen. In the meantime, Rasmi Yousef Abu ‘Arram, who lives 150 meters away, arrived at the area and intervened to prevent the Civil Administration officers from confiscated the electric generator, but they assaulted him and pushed him to the ground. Meanwhile, Haroun’s brother also arrived at the area on the same time and attempted to help his father and withdraw the generator. The hand-to-hand combat continued for 3 minutes, during which, an Israeli soldier fired 2 live bullets from 2 meters distance; a live bullet wounded Haroun in his neck, so he fell on the ground. Haroun’s mother and father started to scream, meanwhile, Ashraf quickly drove his relative vehicle in order to take Haroun to a medical center in Yatta city. In the meantime, an Israeli soldier opened fire at the vehicle and punctured its rear tires. Al-Tawana villagers arrived at the area and IOF fired live bullets at them, forcing them to flee. The al-Tawana villagers managed to take Haroun via a vehicle which passed on al-Tawana village road. When they arrived at al-Karmil village intersection, Israeli soldiers attempted to stop them, but the vehicle’s driver did not obey the soldiers’ orders. Haroun arrived at a medical center in al-Karmil village, where he received first aid. After that, Haroun was transferred via an ambulance to Abu al-Hasan al-Qasem Hospital in Yatta city and was admitted to the emergency department at 15:30. The doctors stopped the bleeding and referred him to al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron, where he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). According to medical sources at al-Ahli Hospital, Haroun was shot with a live bullet in the left side of his neck, causing fractures and laceration in his backbone. Haroun’s four limbs are paralyzed.

  • At approximately 14:25, IOF stationed at “Eyal Crossing”, which is established in northern Qalqilya, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased the young men, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canister at them; a 15-year-old child was shot with a rubber bullet in his right foot.
  • At approximately 20:10, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Islamic Shuhada Cemetery, and off Abu Safiyia area in eastern and northeastern Jabalia refugee camp, opened sporadic fire at the border area and fired flare bombs in the sky; no causalities or material damage were reported.
  • At approximately 06:00 on Sunday, 03 January 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Khuzaʽa village; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into Sinjil village, north of Ramallah, and stationed in the western neighborhood. IOF pushed Maher Ahmed ‘Awashrah (10) while he was on his way to the market. As a result, he sustained bruises in his back and neck and received treatment in a medical center in Turmus Ayya village.
  • At approximately 20:25, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-SudaniyiaShore, west of Jabalia refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them and fired flare bombs in the sky, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 03:00 on Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Tulkarm, chased stone-throwers and fired sound bombs at them. IOF also raided Dr. Thabet Hospital at 03:10 and fired sound bombs in the hospital, under the pretext that the stone-throwers were hiding there, causing fear among patients, their companions and medical staff. The Palestinian Ministry of Health stated that IOF raided the mentioned hospital and fired 4 sound bombs inside it; a sound bomb in the reception and 3 others in the emergency yard, causing fear and panic among the patients, especially children and elderlies. The ministry emphasized that 81 patients are receiving treatment at the hospital, including 10 premature babies in the nursery department, 5 children in the pediatrics department, 7 patients in the ICU, 13 patients in the obstetrics department, in addition to 39 medical and health staff.
  • At approximately 03:20, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. IOF were deployed in the camp and patrolled its streets. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov cocktails at IOF, who fired sound bombs, teargas canisters, rubber bullets at the protestors and clashed with them. As a result, a 19-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his leg, and a 23-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his thigh. Both of them were taken to Jericho Governmental Hospital.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Maghazi and Bureij refugee camps, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 07:30, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:50, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF stationed near the annexation wall, near al-Mariha and Daher al-‘Abed villages, west of Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin, opened fire at Palestinian workers who attempted to enter Israel via the annexation wall halls. As a result, 3 civilians, including a father and his son, were wounded and taken to Dr. Khalil Suliman Governmental Hospital in Jenin.
  • Around the same time, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into al-Dawara area, east of Sa’ir village, north of Hebron. IOF were deployed between residential houses. After that, they indiscriminately fired sound bombs at Palestinians’ houses, under the pretext that they were exposed to stone-throwing. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. At 20:30, IOF withdrew from the village.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF indiscriminately fired teargas canisters at Palestinians’ houses in al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, under the pretext that a military watchtower established adjacent to the camp’s entrance was exposed to stone-throwing. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 23:45, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, southeast of Beit Hanoun, east and northeast of Jabalia refugee camp, opened heavy fire at border area; no causalities or damage were reported.
  • At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 05 January 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched ‘Abed al-Rahman Mohammed Jawabra’s (62) house in ‘Ereq al-Latoun area and withdrew later. No arrests were reported. During IOF withdrawal from the village, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. A number of Israeli soldiers stepped out of the vehicles and fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at the stone-throwers. At approximately 03:00, IOF withdrew from the village.
  • At approximately 11:00, dozens of Palestinians and foreigner activists organized a peaceful protest in lands under the threat of confiscation in al-Jomjoma area, east of Halhul city, north of Hebron. The activists brought olive seedlings and planted them. Meanwhile, IOF arrived at the area and fired teargas canisters and sound bombs at the protestors. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF also uprooted the olive seedlings, declared the area as a closed military zone and threatened to arrest anyone present in the area. It should be noted that the protest was organized after an Israeli settler set up a tent in al-Jomjoma area a week ago.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF stationed near “Gush Etzion” intersection, south of Bethlehem, killed ‘Ahed ‘Abed al-Rahman Mahmoud Qawqas Ekhlayl (25), from Hebron, with several live bullets under the pretext that he attempted to carry out a stabbing attack. IOF stated that Ekhlayl approached a checkpoint, where a number of Israeli soldiers stationed, in front of “Gush Etzion” petrol station, and carried an ax. IOF also claimed that when they ordered him to stop, he refused, so IOF opened fire at him. IOF in its statement stated that: “ there was an attempt to carry out a stabbing attack near “Gush Etzion” intersection, and the suspect was neutralized.” In addition, Israeli media claimed that another young man was accompanied Ekhlayl, but he managed to escape. It should be noted that Israeli authorities did not publish any video to prove their claims or to show the threat that Ekhlayl posed to the soldiers, especially that “Gush Etzion” intersection is a fortified area, full of advanced surveillance cameras and military watchtowers, and settlement guards are heavily deployed in it. Israel Hayom Newspaper published that the settlement guard opened fire at Ekhlayl. PCHR’s staff continue to investigate the incident, as no Palestinian eyewitnesses were available so far.
  • PCHR also notes that the soldiers could use less lethal force against Ekhlayl such as wounding or arresting him instead of killing him, because he was walking on his feet and did not have a firearm. Following the incident, IOF closed the main street (367), which connects between Bethlehem and Hebron, and established many checkpoints in “Gush Etzion” intersection, causing jam traffic. It should be noted that Ekhlayl was a resident of Safa area in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, and he had opened a sweets shop in the village less than a month ago. IOF summoned his father and uncles to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service “Shin Bet” for investigation.
  • At approximately 14:35 on Tuesday, 05 January 2021, IOF stationed in (16) military site, northeast of Beit Hanoun village, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at Palestinian shepherds who approached the fence, causing fear among them and forcing them to flee; no causalities or damage were reported.
  • At approximately 23:00 on Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Bureij refugee camp, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Wednesday, 06 January 2021, IOF moved into Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, southwest of Ramallah. They were deployed between residential houses. In the meantime, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who chased the stone-throwers and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 20-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his foot and was treated on the spot. Also, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 14:35, IOF stationed in a military site (16), northeast of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at Palestinian shepherds who approached the fence, causing fear among them and forcing them to flee. No casualties of material damage were reported.




       II. Incursions and arrests:

Thursday, 31 December 2020:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Qalqilya and Kafr Thulth, east of Qalqilya, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Fo’ad Na’eem Jitawi (22), and Omar Ayman Shawahna (19).
  • At approximately 02:55, IOF moved into Nur Shams refugee camp and Anabta village, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Oday Samer Jaber (23), who is a former prisoner, Sa’eed Izzat Jaber (22), and Ahmed Tareq al-Nimri (20).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Dheesha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians after beaten them. The arrestees are: Ibrahim Munir Arafa (26), Haidar Izzat Abu Dayya (23), and Ahmed Tawfiq Tayeh (33).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Saf street in Bethlehem. They raided and searched Ahmed Rebhi al-Haremi’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Kobar village, north of Ramallah, and stationed at al-Iskan street. They deployed between civilians’ houses, while dozens of soldiers stormed a 4-storey building, included 6 apartments, and stormed and searched Omar Abdul Raheem al-Barghouthi’s (29) apartment, which is in the ground floor, and arrested him. IOF also raided and searched the houses of Ali al-Ka’ba and Mohannad al-Rayyan.

Haya al-Barghouthi, Omar’s cousin, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

My husband and I woke up to loud noise in our building; we went out of our apartment to see a number of the Israeli soldiers and border guards in the third floor with the building owner, Shadi. They were shouting loudly “where is al-Barghouthi”, and asked Shadi about Omar’s apartment, and headed there, immediately detonating the front door. Omar lived alone, as his wife was travelling abroad. I asked the soldiers to go and wake Omar up, but they refused and stormed his apartment and started beating him and insulting him, then they handcuffed him and took him to their military vehicle. At approximately 08:00, Saif, Omar’s brother, received a phone call from an Israeli Intelligence Services’ officer, and told him that Omar is in a critical health condition and he was taken to Hadassah Medical Center in Israel, and that the soldiers hit him on his head and all over his body, which caused wounds, bruises, and loss of consciousness”.

  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Beit Ummar, Hebron, Sa’eer, and al-Shuyukh villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 01 January 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Eyad Hasan Abu Obaid’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Khalil Mo’een Fawzi Mousa (27), from Qaryut village, southeast of Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 11:30, IOF arrested Eyad Mohammed al-Jo’ba (27), while present near al-Silsila gate, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s Gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • In the evening hours, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Deir Istiya, north of Salfit. They took the measures of the location and withdrew.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Tarqumiyah and al-Shuyukh in Hebron governorate; Haris village, north of Salfit; Kafr Laqif, Sir and Qalqilya. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 02 January 2021:

  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Zububa village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Suliman Amarna (19).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron, and stationed at al-Harayiq area. They raided and searched Tareq Anwar Da’eis’s (41) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF stationed at “Eyal” military checkpoint, established in the north of Qalqilya, arrested Ahmed Mahmoud Ayyash (16) and Anis Mohammed Abu Tayba (17).
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Yousef Alaa al-Haddad’s (11) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to ‘Ammar Mahmoud Thawabta (15) and Ahmed Jamal Taqateqa (16) and arrested them.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Halhul, Beit Kahil, and Nuba villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 03 January 2021:

  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Jaba’ village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Mohammed Alawna (21).
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Diya’ Mohammed Obaid’s (15) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF reinforced with dozens of military vehicles moved into Deir Nidham village, northwest of Ramallah governorate, after throwing stones at an Israeli settler’s car in the street adjacent to “Halamish” settlement, where the settler suffered serious wounds, according to the Israeli media. However, the Israeli vehicles, IOF, the border guards and the Israeli infantry units surrounded the village and closed the main and western entrances of the village. IOF fired sound bombs and teargas canisters, causing fear and panic among civilians. Meanwhile, they raided and searched dozens of houses and arrested (20) civilians including two children in the main street and detain them for 3 consecutive hours under the investigation. Lately, IOF released 17 civilians while kept the two children and the young man under arrest and took them to an unknown destination. The arrestees are: Sajed Abdul Ghani al-Khateeb (17), Mohammed Kheir al-Tamimi (17), and Osama Firas al-Tamimi (18), who is a student at Birzeit University. IOF established a tent near the main entrance and confiscated all the surveillances cameras of the houses and stores.
  • At approximately 18:00, the Israeli bulldozer combed al-Ein land, near “Wad Rayya”, adjacent to the village, they raided and searched several houses and continued closing the entrances and some streets, then stormed the village and the houses again until Monday’s evening, 04 January 2021.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yazan (25), and his brother, Islam Kamel Abu Shamla (18).
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Sanniriya and Azun, east of Qalqilya; Sa’ir, Bani Na’im, Samu and Dura, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 04 January 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Surif, west of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Hadi Mahmoud Ghunaimat (30), and Fadi Mousa Ghunaimat (29).
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron. They raided and searched four houses and arrested (4) civilians; Hussam Hasan Abu Hussain (32), Miqdad Abdullah al-Qawasmah (38), Abdul Aziz Abu Sunaina (34), and Mohammed Hamed al-Rajabi (29).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Nablus, from its southern side, Jabal al-Tur, north of the West Bank, and stationed at Nablus’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Alaa Nidal Abu Shamla (25).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Jannata village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Abdul Rahman Sa’eed al-‘Arouj’s (31) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:20, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Jericho. They raided and searched Hasan Shaker Ballou’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians including a child; Abdul Rahman al-Bashiti (16), Zakariya al-Bakry (19), and Mustafa Abu Sunaina (18).
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians, including a child; Hamza Abu Ghannam (19), Fadi Abu Ghannam (17), and Mohammed Abu Sbaitan (22).
  • IOF carried out (1) incursion in Ein al-Sultan refugee camp, in the western side of Jericho. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 05 January 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Eyas Hussain Obaid’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Nablus, entering it from the northern side by checkpoint (17), and stationed in Baker street and Kallet al-Amud neighborhood, northeast of the village. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yaser al-Madmouj (28), and took him to Millennium Technology Company, where he works. It should be noted that the company’s owner was arrested on 21 December 2020.
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Tulkarm refugee camp. They raided and searched Ra’ed Mohammed Qawzah’s (50) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Zeita Jamma’in village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Zakariya Ahmed Rayyan (51) and Jom’a Mahmoud Ramadan (53).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Batin al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Harbi Abdul Samea’ Abu Subaih (43) and his brother, Wajdi (39), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF stationed on the main entrance to Nabi Saleh village arrested Ahmed al-Rimawy (32) and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses, only 3 of the houses were identified; Oday al-Shahrouri, Munir and his brother Omar Foqaha, and interrogated the civilians, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Sami al-Fakhouri’s (17) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF signed to guard the annexation wall west of Rummanah village, west of Jenin, arrested Kareem Ahmed al-‘Ammour (28), while present near the wall. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into ‘Anin village, west of Jenin. They threatened to destroy and set fire to street carts that were previously served removal notices.
  • IOF carried out 2 incursions in Deir Ballut and Sarta in western Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 06 January 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Nablus, from its eastern entrance. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Subhi Tabanja (38), from Khallat al-‘Amud, southeast of Nablus; and Omar Eyad Staitiya (26), from Zawata village, west of Nablus.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beita, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yousef Musbah Abu Mazen (23), a water technician employee in Beita municipality.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Kahil in northern Hebron and raided Mohammed Assafra’s (30) house. They searched and ransacked through the house before arresting Assafra and taking him with them.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-‘Alqa al Fawqa, southern Hebron and raided Ahmed Dodeen’s (40) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Deir Nidham village, northwest of Ramallah. They deployed between civilians houses, raided and searched Ragheb Mohammed al-Tamimi’s (18) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF reinforced with several military and construction vehicles moved 100 meters into Al Fukhkhari, eastern Khan Younis. They razed the area for hours and then withdrew.
III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • At approximately 08:00 on Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF accompanied with military bulldozers moved into Khelet ‘Elian in Biddya village, west of Salfit. IOF started leveling 550 fruitful trees and retaining walls as well as the fence wires surrounding the land belonging to the heirs of Yousef Salim, ‘Abdel Rahim Salim and Mohammed Salim.

The landowners said that land razing had wiped off the agricultural field that was funded by the International Relief, inflecting a loss of ILS 300,000.  It should be noted that that was the second time the project was destroyed, and the trees uprooted.

Youssef Kamel Youssef Salamah said that:

“IOF moved into the area and closed the entrances, denying citizens and journalists’ access to it.  IOF leveled all the olive, almond, grape and fig trees my cousins and I had planted in a joint project funded by the International Relief.  The uprooted  trees included around 250 olive trees, 100 grapevines, 100 almond trees and 100 fig trees.  We also bought huge amount of sand and brought workers and vehicles to work in the land.”

  • On Saturday morning, 02 January 2021, Amjad Ja’abees self-demolished a concrete slab he built on his land in Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and removed the steel-wired fence surrounding the land, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Ja’abees said that last October, he established a concrete slab as a prelude to build a small house on a plot of land he inherited from his family in Jabel Mukaber village.  Ja’abees added that the Israeli Municipality instantly warned him to self-demolish the slab and remove the fence surrounding his land.  However, when he did not obey, the Municipality handed him an administrative decision signed by the Israeli Ministry of Interior regarding the slab and gave him only 7 days to implement the decision; otherwise, the Municipality crews will carry out the demolition and fine him with the costs.  Ja’abees said that the Israeli Municipality previously reject his request for the land use regulation and to have construction license, and this applies to all the surrounding plots of land in the area.

  • On Sunday morning, 03 January 2021, the High Planning Council (HPC) ratified confiscation of Land plots in different areas of Bethlehem to allocate them to settlements.

Hasan Breijiyah, Head of the Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission in Bethlehem said that the Israeli authorities had ratified the allocation of the following land plots for settlement expansion: Land plot no. (8) in al-Shefa and Wad al-Hendi areas in al-Khader village; Land plot no. (1) in Artas village; Land plot no. (4) in ‘Arab Ta’amra and Land plot no. (5) in al-Morouj area.  Breijiyah added that in the morning IOF handed ‘Ali Salim Mousa from al-Khader village a notice to stop construction works in Jabel Abu Sodah area allegedly for being located in an archaeological area.

  • In the afternoon, IOF handed Nizam Abu Romouz a decision to vacate his family house in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, in favor of settlers.

Abu Romouz Family said that the evacuation decision was issued in absentee in 2016 when court hearings were held in absentee to deliberate the status of the estate without notifying or summoning the family to attend the court or even handing them any judicial notices in this regard.  The family added that the court fined them ILS 7,000 for the court and the settlers’ lawyer fees.  The family also said that they will file an urgent appeal to the District Court’s evacuation decision, denying receiving any judicial notice to seize the land where the estate is established.  It should be noted that the family estate is comprised of 3 floors and shelters 3 families.  The estate is within the “Ateret Cohanim” settlement organization’s plans to seize 5 dunums and 200 sqm from the Central quarter in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood under the pretext of being a Jewish ownership since 1881 as ruled by the Israeli Supreme Court.  It is also noteworthy that 87 families live in the plot of land under the threat of confiscation and evacuation.

  • On Monday morning, 04 January 2021, IOF demolished 6 fences, a water well and an agricultural barrack in ‘Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Mayor of ‘Anata village, Taha al-Refa’ie, stated that the Israeli Municipality’s vehicles started demolishing a fence belonging to Mohammed al-Bayaa’ and another fence as well as a 40 sqm agricultural barrack and a water well belonging to Jamal ‘Alqam in al-Nejmah neighborhood in eastern ‘Anata near the industrial area.  The demolition came after a week of handing both civilians  demolition notices allegedly for unlicensed construction. Al-Refa’ie added that the Municipality crews demolished 3 more fences in al-Rahinah area belonging to Isma’il Shihah, ‘Othman Abu ‘Omer, Rami Hamdan, and Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim and another belonging to Mohammed Helwah in al-Thaher area.  Al-Refa’ie said that the Municipality crews distributed many demolition notices in the nearby area and withdrew.

  • In the same morning, IOF demolished an agricultural room belonging to Lutfi Salah in al-Khader village, west of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Salah said that an Israeli military force raided his land and demolished the room and confiscated its contents, including chairs and water tanks used for irrigation.  Salah added that the demolition was carried out without any prior notification, noting that such tin-roofed rooms do not need a license as it is used for agricultural and storing purposes.

  • At approximately 11:30 on Tuesday, 05 January 2020, IOF accompanied with a Civil Administration SUV moved into Rujeib village, southeast of Nablus, northern West Bank.  They confiscated a bulldozer belonging to Majed Ibrahim ‘Abed Dweikat while working in an under-construction house in Khelet Rajeh area, northeast of Rujeib village, and arrested the driver.  IOF took the driver and the bulldozer to “Huwara” military camp, southeast of Nablus, and later released the driver but kept the bulldozer under custody allegedly for illegal construction work in Area C.
  • At approximately 12:00 on Wednesday, 06 January 2021, IOF backed by 8 bulldozers and tens of SUVs and trucks moved into  Khalet al-‘Abhar Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit, where part of the annexation wall is established on its lands.  IOF leveled a vacant area; around 200 dunums and 3400 olive and olive trees and grapevines planted 5-10 years ago.  IOF also seized a large number of trees after uprooting them.  These leveled lands belong to ‘Ezat Mousa, heirs of Husni ‘Issa Mousa and ‘Abdullah Mousa. 

IOF also handed 5 new notices to the nearby lands’ owners to vacate them as a prelude to confiscate them in favor of settlement expansion.

While land-razing, IOF attacked and beat up the owners of the leveled lands, including Mohammed Husni Mousa and ‘Aisha ‘Abdullah Mousa.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • On Thursday morning, 31 December 2020, a group of settlers from “Rafafa”  attacked a plot of land belonging to the head of the village council, ‘Omer Samarah,  in al-Ta’erat area in Haris village, north of Salfit.  The settlers uprooted around 300 olive trees planted on an area of 14 dunums 14 years ago, without any prior warning.  They also left a notice in a plot of land belonging to Khaled Mohammed ‘Ali Shamlawi in the same area, saying that this land is owned by the state and giving the owners 45 days to appeal.
  • At approximately 20:00 on Thursday, 31 December 2020, settlers rioted at the entrance of “Homish” settlement that was vacated in 2005 and established on the lands of Burqa and Silat ad-Dhahr villages, northwest of Nablus.  They also threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling on Nablus-Jenin Street, but no damage was reported.
  • At approximately 21:55 on the same day, a group of settlers from “Yitsahar” settlement established on Nablus lands threw stones at civilian houses in Huwara village, southeast of Nablus.  As a result, Mo’ataz ‘Ezat Qasrawi’s house windows were broken and his wife, Lina Hasan ‘Awad ‘Odah (34) was injured with a stone in her right leg when she was in her bedroom in the first floor of the 2-storey house while her 4 children and husband were in the second floor of the house. 
  • At approximately 22:00, settlers from ” Shiloh” and “Eli” settlement established on the villages of Qaryout and al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya, southeast of Nablus, threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling on Nablus-Ramallah Street.  As a result, a car belonging to Salim ‘Abdel ‘Aziz Salim Bsharat, Palestine TV photojournalist in Tubas, sustained damage; the right door window and mirror were broken while the front and right side sustained damage.
  • On Friday morning, 01 January 2021, settlers from “Leshem” settlement attacked a plot of land belonging to Ya’qoub Hadrous in Khelet Mathar area in Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit.  The settler added tons of sand piles on the land, burying the olive trees there, without any prior notice or warning.

‘Omer Ya’qoub Hadrous said that:

“On Friday morning, we found settlers from Leshem settlement transferring piles of sand into my land in Khelet Mathar area, east of Deir Ballut village. We informed the Liaison, and the settlement guardian came after we refused what was going on.  He told the workers who were transferring the piles, “wait until I make a phone call to know if this land belongs to the state or what.”  He made the phone call and immediately ordered them to stop the transfer into this land because it belongs to ‘Omer and not a state property. This talk occurred after they completely covered the land with around 1.5 meter sand and construction remnants, and even if I cleaned it, the land won’t return as it was because it was all ruined.  This means that all the olives were damaged and the land as well.”

  • At approximately 16:55 on Friday, 01 January 2021, a group of settlers from “Shvut Rachel” settlement established on the lands of southeastern al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village  attacked and tried to seize al-Khan area.  A number of citizens immediately gathered and throw stones at the settlers to force them to go back.  It should be noted that al-Khan is an ottoman site which IOF has been trying to seize for a while.
  • At approximately 18:30, a group of settlers from “Kedumim” settlement gathered on the main street near Kafr Qaddum village in Qalqilya.  They threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling in the area and closed the main street connecting Qalqilya with Nablus to perform religious rituals in the area.
  • At approximately 21:00 on Saturday, 02 January 2021, a group of settlers from ” Beit Yatir” and “Susya” settlements attacked members of al-Nawaj’ah family while plowing their land in Um Lakhous area, south of Yatta, southern Hebron.  The settlers attempted to stop the tractors despite the Israeli court’s decision to prevent settlers from entering that land.  Clashes occurred between the settlers and citizens while IOF patrols and Israeli Civil Administration crews arrived to force settlers leaving the land.
  • At approximately 19:00 on Sunday, 03 January 2021, a group of settlers from the Israeli “Hilltop Youth” group called for protests at the intersections of the main streets  used by the Palestinians.  An hour later, large groups of settlers gathered at the intersections of Adam, northeastern Jerusalem; “Yitsahar” and “Ma’ale Efrayim”, southwestern Nablus; Bypass 60 Ofra; “Pisgat Yahuda” Street on Ramallah-Nablus Street, “Nof Hasharon” settlement; Jit Sarra, southwestern Nablus; and “Shiloh” and “Eli” settlements, southeastern Nablus.  The settler rioted at the intersections and threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling there.
  • At approximately 03:00 on Monday, 04 January 2021, a group of settlers from “Brukhin” settlement moved into Sarta village, west of Salfit.  They threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles and houses, breaking windows of cars belonging to Sa’id Sarsour, Mukhtar ‘Abdullah Sarsour, Mustafa Ibrahim al-Khatib, Mohammed Hisham Sarsour and Ma’zouz Sarsour.  Moreover, wheels belonging of a bulldozer belonging to Youssef Mohammed al-Khatib were punctured.
  • In the morning, settlers from “Beitar Illit” settlement established on the Palestinian lands of Husan, Nahalin and Wadi Fukin villages, southwest Bethlehem, flooded sewage into vacant areas of lands in Husan village, west of the city. 

Husan Village Council stated that settlers flooded sewage into vacant areas of lands planted with grapevines and olive trees, inflecting huge losses and damage in these lands.  The Council added that such attacks are constant as settlers often pump wastewater into Palestinian-owned lands in the villages of Husan, Jab’a, Nahalin and Wadi Fukin.

  • At approximately 19:00, dozens of Israeli settlers gathered on Street no. (1) in central occupied East Jerusalem and closed it, starting to attack Palestinian vehicles and passers-by.

Eyewitnesses said that settlers closed the abovementioned street and nearby Musrara Street and set fire to tires.  They then threw stones at passers-by and Palestinian vehicles, causing damage to them.

  • At approximately 20:00, settlers from “Hilltop Youth” group rioted the streets and threw stones at different intersections, particularly Soliman al-Faresi “Yitzhar” intersection in Huwara village, southeast of Nablus (the entrance to Yitzhar); Beit El Camp Road; Route 60 between Hizma and Jaba’ on Ramallah-Nablus Highway; and al-Nabi Younis intersection in Hebron.
  • At approximately 22:00, dozens of Israeli settlers on Jerusalem-Hebron Street protested near Gush Etzion settlement intersection for the third week consecutively.

Eyewitnesses said that settlers under IOF protection raised slogans calling for Arabs to leave and closed the main streets before Palestinian vehicles.  The settlers threw stones at the vehicles, causing severe damage to them.

  • At approximately 19:00 on Tuesday, 05 January 2021, a group of settlers from “Hilltop Youth” group rioted and threw stones at different intersections, particularly at the entrance to Homish settlement on Jenin-Nablus Road, northwest of Nablus; Soliman al-Faresi “Yitzhar” intersection in Huwara village, southeast of Nablus (the entrance to Yitzhar); Za’atara checkpoint intersection; at the entrance to “Shilo” settlement, southeast of Nablus; Kedumim intersection and completely closed it, southeast of Qalqiliya; and at the entrance to Jurat ash-Sham’a village between “Efrat” settlement and Teqoa on Hebron Road. However, no injuries were reported.
  • On Wednesday morning, 06 January 2021, settlers from “Amihai” settlement established on Jalud village, southeast of Nablus, uprooted and stole 150 olive seedlings from Mahmoud Fawzi Haj Mohammed’s land in Ma’aser Ghzayel area, 100 meters away from the abovementioned settlement.
 IV. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals 56 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint near the entrance to Ofra settlement, which is established in northeast of Ramallah.
  • On Saturday, 02 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of Taybeh village.
  • On Sunday, 03 January 2021, IOF closed Wadi al-Dalb road, which leads to Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. IOF also established a checkpoint at the main entrance to the village. They also closed the metal detector gate established at the entrance to Aboud village and established a military checkpoint at the entrance to Nabi Salih village, northwest of the city.
  • On Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of Shuqba village and at the entrance to Nabi Salih village, northwest of the city.
  • IOF established three military checkpoints on the northern and southern Jericho entrances, and on al-Mo’arajat road intersection.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint near Um al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit Jala village, at the western entrance to Tuqu village and in ‘Aqabet Hassnah area, leading to Bethlehem’s western villages.
  • On Saturday, 02 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Tuqu village, in Kermizan area in Beit Jala village and near Um al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho for 5 consecutive hours.
  • On Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Saturday, 02 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho, at the entrance to Al-Auja village, and on al-Mo’arajat road (connecting between Jericho and Ramallah).
  • On Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho and at the entrance to Ein ad-Duyuk village, north of the city.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement and at the entrance to Beita village, southeast of Nablus.
  • On Sunday, 03 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement and at al-Moraba’a intersection.

Tubas:

  • On Saturday, 02 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint in al-Me’yar area, east of ‘Atouf village, southeast of Tubas.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Yatta city and at the entrance to as-Samu village.
  • On Saturday, 02 January 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa and Idhna villages, at the northern entrance to Halhul city, and at the southern and western entrances to Hebron.
  • On Sunday, 03 January 2021. IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Halhul city and at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp.
  • On Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar, Sa’ir and Jalajel villages, at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp, and at the southern entrance to Halhul city.
  • On Tuesday, 05 January 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Hebron and at the entrances to as-Samu and Beit Ummar villages.
  • On Wednesday, 06 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp, and at the entrances to ad-Dhahiriya and Beit Kahil villages.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Kafr Laqif and Azzun villages, at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya, and at the entrance to Izbat al-Tabib village, east of Qalqilya.
  • On Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.
  • On Sunday, 03 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Azzun and to Izbat al-Tabib villages, east of Qalqilya.

Salfit:

  • On Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Kafr ad-Dik, Kifl_Haris, Rafat amd Qarawat_Bani_Hassan villages.

Will the Deal of Century include Indonesia?

Source

January 9, 2021 – 12:59

Over the past half a century, presidents of the United States have regularly assured American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) at annual meetings of Washington’s commitment to the Zionist regime’s values. To that effect, efforts to help the Zionist regime reach sustainable security constitute a principled policy of Washington.

Nonetheless, under President Donald Trump, these efforts were significantly different. By signing the “Deal of the Century” before cameras, Trump pretended to be a pragmatic president with regard to the security of Israel through mediating peace between Israel and Muslim nations. He had from the very beginning focused specifically on a handful of Muslim nations. 

Shortly after signing the Deal of the Century, Trump delivered on his pledge. He officially gave the go-ahead to the process of normalizing ties between Muslim nations and the Zionist regime. 

From the day the Deal of the Century was signed until normalization agreements between the Zionist regime and several Muslim nations, an opportunity might have been provided to assess the public opinion in these countries and of course the firm determination of their governments for normalizing ties in view of the materialization of the “Deal of the Century” project initiated by the U.S.

Currently, despite sporadic oppositions across the Muslim world, the Deal of the Century project has taken some steps forward. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Morocco are the three Muslim nations that have normalized relations with the Quds occupying regime. However, we have to look into the future of the Deal of the Century.

The Republic of Indonesia is the largest Muslim world and the third biggest democracy in the world. After living for centuries under occupation, colocalization, and exploitation by the Dutch, the Japanese, and the Americans, Indonesia is close to marking the 75th anniversary of its independence.

Living under colonialism, the Indonesian youth sacrificed their lives to achieve independence in 1945. That taught Indonesian Muslims helpful lessons which are symbolized in the country’s Constitution and more importantly in Indonesia’s five major principles. 
Now we intend to test the waters for Indonesia to see if it can join the Deal of the Century and sign normalization or peace deals with the Zionist regime.

Colonialism yoke

A flashback to the black period of colonialism in Indonesia can serve as the first clue to this enigma. The history of the Kingdom of Srivijaya in Indonesia was millennia-old. Alas, it was seized in the 15th century by the Portuguese. Two centuries later, Britain and the Netherlands dominated Indonesia, leaving tragic disasters behind. That was when Indonesia was renamed the East Indian Company. 

History witnesses that the Dutch spilled too much blood in Indonesia to establish their own regime there. Badung, Bali, and Java still remember the horrible Dutch massacre of Indonesians with no mercy for women and children. After the Netherlands, Japan occupied Indonesia while World War II was underway. Then, it was the Americans’ turn to run Indonesian affairs following their victory in the war.  

Although the U.S. dominance of Indonesia was short-lived and the country braced for independence, the U.S. maintained its secret clout with Indonesia’s policy, which resulted in the mass deaths of three million Indonesians under the pretext of a Communist coup. 
Recently declassified CIA documents show that the intelligence agency was, directly and indirectly, involved in the coup and the subsequent carnage of Indonesians. 

It may be said that Indonesia is a large country in the world to have felt the life under occupation and suffered massive deaths committed by colonialist powers.

That is exactly why from the very outset of the Indonesian National Revolution, independence leaders pursued the five basic principles of Indonesia’s independence as the most significant independence document and future strategy for the country, calling for just life for all human communities.   

Pancasila, political philosophy of Indonesia 

As soon as Indonesia declared independence, the country faced serious political tumults. In 1998 Indonesians had to adopt fundamental reforms, known as reformasi. The reformasi brought once more Pancasila to the fore and resulted in a more forceful implementation of Indonesia’s Constitution. 

In fact, reformasi laid emphasis on major and principled policy lines of Indonesia and their implementation by people, a policy line whose main focal point was administration of justice in all human communities and clear dismissal of colonialism and exploitation all across the globe. 

Indonesian governments have since remained faithful to Pancasila and the Constitution. Wherever people have seen any non-compliance with laws they have taken action against their governments. 

Independent foreign policy  

“Independence is the right of every nation. Occupation must be abolished in the world because it does not comply with humanity and justice.” That is how Indonesia’s Constitution begins. Therefore, Indonesia has always pursued an independent line vis-à-vis colonial issues in the world because it is a founding nation of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and has always adopted a principled and anti-occupation position vis-à-vis the Zionists’ occupation of Palestine. 

This political line is symbolized in the Indonesian governments’ treatment of the Quds occupying regime. Prior to adoption of reformasi and several years after, the Indonesian government maintained low-level political ties with the Zionist regime without recognizing it. The Indonesian government’s stance against the Zionist regime’s inhumane behaviors came to the limelight after it organized its domestic policy and embraced action on the global scale. 

The administration of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) from 2004 to 2014 adopted very tough stance against the Zionists. That is while Indonesia has always faced harsh criticism from the U.S. because of its anti-Zionist stance. On the other hand, Indonesia’s anti-colonialist policy has not been limited to condemnations and political statements. Indonesia has largely helped residents of Gaza and the West Bank. Construction of several hospitals in Palestine, funded by Indonesian government and charities, is a case in point. 
Under President Joko Widodo, Indonesia has pushed ahead with its anti-colonialist policy – as stipulated in the Constitution – since 2014.

Countering Israeli aggression in return for strained ties  

Indonesia has hitherto paid a heavy price because of its faithfulness to the Palestinian cause and its efforts to resolve the issue of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. At political forums and the UN General Assembly, it openly opposed the U.S.’s declaration of al-Quds as the capital of the Zionist regime.

Indonesia’s adoption of an independent policy and support for Palestinian people has not pleased some nations, particularly Australia, leading to a verbal row between the two nations. Indonesia even threatened to sever ties with Australia, saying supporting the Palestinian cause was a principled policy of Indonesia and objecting to Indonesia’s pro-Palestine policy amounted to interference with its domestic affairs. 

Will the Deal of Century reach Indonesia?

In light of the Indonesian Muslims’ support for the Palestinian cause and objection to the Zionist regime’s occupation as well as crimes committed by the regime in Gaza and the West Bank, the issue of normalization of ties between Indonesia and the Zionist regime seems to have no real standing and is just mere speculation. Economically known as the Tiger of Southeast Asia, Indonesia does not depend on the so-called American-Zionist aid. Furthermore, the Indonesian government has shown that it would not shy away from paying any price to support Palestine in line with its Constitution. To that effect, Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman recently dismissed any plan for resumption of ties with the Zionist regime or any proposal for the recognition of Israel.

“Forbidden Weapons” Used Against Gaza Strip Palestinians. Israel Deliberately Targets Palestinian Civilians

By Dr. Zuhair Sabbagh

Global Research, January 08, 2021

The following research article will explore three forbidden weapons that were and are still being used against the Palestinian civilians of the besieged Gaza Strip. These weapons are the DIME, the Flechette Shells and the Vacuum Bomb. Furthermore, this research article will attempt to answer an important question: Why does Israel deliberately target Palestinian civilians?

The DIME Components

DIME shell stands for Dense Inert Metal Explosives, is supposedly a “low collateral damage” weapon that was developed by the US Air Force.[1] Already in 2006, the DIME weapon has been used by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip. It has been dropped by Israeli drone aircraft.[2]

It should be pointed out that the chemical components of the DIME shell could not have become known to Palestinian physicians because Israel had destroyed Gaza’s only criminal laboratory on June 27, 2006, the first day of the siege.[3] This is indicative of the Zionist sinister future plans to use forbidden weapons against the Palestinian civilians and to keep the world in the dark including the Palestinians. However, after acquiring help from a group of Italian scientists and investigators, Palestinian physicians became aware of the chemical structure of the DIME shell whose extreme dangerous toxicity Israel was trying to conceal.

On October 19, 2006, a group of

“… Italian investigators had tissue samples from the victims in Gaza analyzed by Dr. Carmela Vaccaio at University Parma. Dr. Vaccaio reportedly found “a very high concentration of carbon and the presence of unusual materials, such as copper, aluminum and tungsten.” The doctor concluded that her “findings could be in line with the hypothesis that the weapon in question is DIME.”[4]

According to the spectrometry analyses of biopsies taken from amputation injuries of Palestinian patients from the Gaza Strip, and carried out by a group of Italian scientists affiliated with the New Weapons Research Committee (NWRC), the DIME shell included a combination of the following seventeen metals: “…aluminum, titanium, copper, strontium, barium, cobalt, mercury, vanadium, caesium, tin, arsenic, manganese, rubidium, cadmium, chromium, zinc and nickel…”[5] The combination of that many metals, including heavy metals, makes the DIME shell an extremely toxic chemical weapon and a highly dangerous one.

It should be pointed out that the “DIME weapons consist of a carbon fiber casing filled with a mixture of explosives and very dense microshrapnel, consisting of very small particles (1–2 mm) or powder of a heavy metal…”[6] When it explodes, DIME bombs blast a superheated “micro-shrapnel” of powdered heavy metal tungsten alloy.[7]

The DIME Health Hazards

The initial reports on the health hazards of the DIME bomb came out few months after Israel began to use it in the summer of 2006.  Dr. Jom’a Al-Saqqa, chief of the emergency unit at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza, observed that the DIME was “a new ‘chemical’ weapon” and Israeli siege was “a live exercise on a new ammunition that, so far, has resulted in killing 50 Palestinians and injuring 200.” He added that, “despite the damage in internal soft tissue in the bodies of injured people, the fragments were not detected by X-ray. In other words, they had disappeared or dissolved inside the body.”[8]

Dr. Al-Saqqa, a surgeon by profession, continued his observation by adding that “There were usually entry and exit wounds. When the wounds were explored no foreign material was found. There was tissue death, the extent of which was difficult to determine. … A higher deep infection rate resulted with subsequent amputation. In spite of amputation there was a higher mortality.”[9]

Moreover, Dr. Al-Saqqa, added the following observation on the death-causing health impact of the DIME weapon.

“When the shrapnel hit[s] the body, it causes very strong burns that destroy the tissues around the bones…it burns and destroys internal organs, like the liver, kidneys, and the spleen and other organs and makes saving the wounded almost impossible. As a surgeon, I have seen thousands of wounds during the Intifada, but nothing was like this weapon.”[10]

Dr Joma Al-Saqqa, chief of the emergency unit at Gaza’s largest hospital, Al-Shifa added that, “despite the damage in internal soft tissue in the bodies of injured people, the fragments were not detected by X-ray. In other words, they had disappeared or dissolved inside the body.”[11]

Another witnessing surgeon is Dr. Habas al-Wahid, the Palestinian head of the Emergency Unit at Gaza’s Shuhada al-Aqsa hospital. He made the following shocking observation. “Israel’s new weapon “slices” off its victims’ legs, leaving “signs of heat and burns near the point of the amputation”. It’s “as if a saw was used to cut through the bone…”[12]

Due to the penetration of the body by a number of heavy metals, this situation produces “[m]ultiple syndromes of heavy metal poisoning …” in addition it produces “…polycythemia, which can be induced by cobalt overdose.”[13] Polycythemia is “… a type of blood cancer that causes the bone marrow to make too many red blood cells, a health case that thickens the blood, slowing its flow, and a development which may cause serious problems, such as blood clots. Furthermore, Polycythemia produces cancer of the blood and bone marrow, namely acute leukemia.[14]

It should be pointed out that “[t]he whole Gaza population and their environment, including generations yet to be conceived, have been put at risk of serious long-term injury from heavy metal pollution of the air, soil and groundwater (and possibly the seawater too), while the causal pollution is likely to cross state borders into Egypt and even into Israel…”[15]

As a direct result of use by Israel of forbidden chemical weapons, all sorts of cancer cases have increased in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Ministry of Health has revealed that in the beginning of 2019, there were 8,515 cancer patients inside the Gaza Strip, including 4,705 women and 608 children. Cancer “Patients’ in the Gaza Strip suffer from the permanent shortage of equipment, drugs and medical supplies as a result of Israel’s stifling 12-year siege of  the enclave.”[16] They also suffer from denial of exit permits to children cancer patients and their companions for treatment abroad.[17] Other cancer patients are denied any medical treatment. According to the World Health Organization “Getting a permit to access the health care needed outside can be a stressful and unpredictable process, and many apply multiple times before being able to exit. Even then, some patients are never able to secure the permits they need to access care”[18]

These health hazards caused by the use of DIME shells by Israel constitute war crimes. The Israeli generals who were responsible for them are among others, Beni Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi, the leaders of the Blue White Israeli party. Ex-prime minister Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak, his defense minister are also war criminals. Due to the fact that these war crimes have continued to take place also under the present Israeli government, Benyamin Netanyahu and his defense minister Beni Gantz are also war criminals.

The Flechette Shell Components

The Flechette shell is “…made out of steel and had a very sharp pointy end… For increased aerodynamics, they featured fins on their other end – most likely to increase the speed of descent.”[19] It explodes in the air and releasesapproximately 2,200 flechettes.[20] The metal darts disperse in a conical arch three hundred meters long and about ninety meters wide. It is considered an anti-personnel weapon that is generally fired from a tank.[21] On impact, the Flechette darts are “… capable of penetrating a combatant from head to foot and creating an instantly incapacitating wound…”[22]

One of the hazardous developments that take place is that the “… head of the dart is designed to break away. Having penetrated inside a person, this breakage inflicts a second wound per single dart entry, multiplying the amount of internal damage done by the razor-like darts…”[23]

The Health Hazards of the Flechette Shell

Israel has, numerously, used the Flechette shells in the Gaza Strip. During the war of 2008-2009, Israeli tanks assaulted Palestinian civilians with Flechette shells. There were a number of Palestinian victims of the Flechette shells. The following is the story of two Palestinian medics who were victims of the Flechette shell.

… In the initial shelling that day, Hammad lost his foot when Israeli tanks fired at, according to Hammad, a region filled with terrified civilians fleeing Israeli bombing. His friend Ali was shot in the head while trying to evacuate Hammad. The medics then arrived. Abd al-Dayem and Sarhan had loaded Hammad into the ambulance and were going to retrieve Ali’s body when the flechette shell was fired at the medics and fleeing civilians. Ali was decapitated…[24]

According to Palestinian traditions, parents and relatives of a deceased person usually hold two mourning houses, one for men and another for women. These mourning ceremonies are held outside the house so they can accommodate the largest possible gathering of mourners.

The Palestinian medic Jamal Abd al-Dayem explained what happened at the mourning ceremonies that were held for his late cousin Arafa Abd al-Dayem, the 35-year-old paramedic who died as a result “… of slashes to his lungs, limbs and internal organs.”[25]

After my cousin Arafa was martyred on 4 January, we immediately opened mourning houses, with separate areas for men and women. The next day, at 9:30am the Israelis struck the mourning area where the men were. It was clearly a mourning house, on the road, open and visible. Immediately after the first strike, the Israelis hit the women’s mourning area.” Two strikes within 1.5 minutes, he reported.[26]

The former four Flechette shelling incidents clearly show that the Israeli army is systematically and deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians. They cannot be dismissed as misguided targeting or mistakes. These are repetitive similar shellings of Flechettes that targeted civilians. We should pose the following question. If the Israeli army have on numerous occasions, deliberately targeted civilians, there should be reasons for that.

According to Dr. Bassam al-Masari, a surgeon at Beit Lahiya’s Kamal Adwan hospital, Flechette darts have caused “… more injuries than other bombs precisely because they spread in a larger area. And while the darts appear innocuously small, their velocity and design enable them to bore through cement and bones and “cut everything internal…”[27] Al-Masri added that “… their velocity and design enable them to bore through cement and bones and “cut everything internal…” Accordingly, the prime cause of death is severe internal bleeding from slashed organs, particularly the heart, liver and brain. Brain injuries are the most fatal…[28]

They Target Schools, don’t they?

It is noticeable that, during the past twelve years, Israeli air raids and shelling have targeted a number of civilian facilities inside the Gaza Strip. These facilities included schools, universities, hospitals, medical clinics, mosques, markets, shopping centers, factories, farms, banks, mourning cites, warehouses, a power station, and other essential civilian infrastructure. The following is a partial review of actual incidents.

Hundreds of Palestinian civilians who were forced out from their apartments and houses by the Zionist army, sought refuge inside UNRWA schools thinking that they would be in a safe haven. Nevertheless, Zionist criminal generals thought otherwise.

Author Mike Head reported that, “At least 20 Palestinians were killed and about 90 injured early on Wednesday, including UN workers, when Jabalia Elementary Girls School in Gaza City, which was sheltering 3,300 families, was hit by three artillery shells.”[29] Was it a mistake?

What happened to one UNRWA school was revealed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who reported that “… the exact location of this elementary school has been communicated to the Israeli military authorities 17 times…”[30] yet the Israeli army attacked the school and a number of Palestinians were killed and wounded.

Despite this evidence and during the 2014 war, US President Barak Obama claimed to be “extremely concerned” about the killing of people in UN designated shelters. At the same time Obama accused Hamas of hiding weapons in UN facilities.[31] By accusing Hamas of “hiding weapons in UN facilities” he reiterated Zionist lies and provided a justification for Zionist criminal bombing of UNRWA schools.Israel Killed and Injured More Civilians with Explosive Weapons than Any Other State in 2014

Author Vincent Di Stefano reported that until Dec 2010, “Seven schools in Gaza were totally destroyed, and 135 were substantially damaged. The Al-Azhar University of Gaza was reduced to rubble. Hospitals, medical clinics and Red Crescent warehouses were all targeted…”[32]

The author added that

“It was the second attack, and the sixth strike, on a UN school since Israel’s military offensive in Gaza began on July 8. Last week, 15 people died and about 200 were wounded when another UN school, in Beit Hanoun, was hit as the playground was filled with families awaiting evacuation.”[33]

Author Vincent Di Stefano concluded that “…By deliberately targeting UN schools, [Israel] is sending a chilling message: no one in Gaza is safe from ‘Operation Protective Edge.’…”[34]

In another criminal incident, “… three air strikes killed 15 people and injured 150 in a market area on the outskirts of Shujaiyah. As smoke billowed from the initial air strike, witnesses said emergency services and civilians rushed to help the victims, only to be hit by a further two air strikes minutes later.[35] Was this incident a mistake?

In another criminal assault that was reported by the British Guardian, we quote the following.

During the 2009 war, Mounir a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip reported the following story. While he was sitting around with his family drinking tea in their small courtyard, he heard the loud buzzing of an Israeli drone, clearly visible in the sky above. “He went inside for a moment and, as he returned, he saw a ball of light hurtling down toward him. There was a loud explosion and he was thrown backward. He gathered himself and stumbled out into the courtyard, where he saw the scene he says will never leave him.”[36] In his own words, Mounir described what happened to members of his family by saying: “We found Mohammed lying there, cut in half. Ahmed was in three pieces; Wahid was totally burnt – his eyes were gone. Wahid’s father was dead. Nour had been decapitated. We couldn’t see her head anywhere.”[37] Mounir continued by relating. “You cannot imagine the scene: a family all sitting around together and then, in a matter of seconds, they were cut to pieces. Even the next day we found limbs and body parts on the roof, feet and hands,” Mounir says.[38] Was this incident a mistake?

Despite these deliberate criminal incidents, the Israeli colonial army, as well as, Israeli colonial politicians claim that “… the IDF … intensively trained its personnel on the requirements of the Law of Armed Conflict. It delayed, diverted, or refrained from attacks to spare civilian life. It provided numerous and varied types of concrete warnings before launching attacks.”[39] As reported earlier, concrete evidence points to the contrary.

In addition to schools, Israeli military strikes targeted residential and public structures thus producing utter destruction. Author, Patrick O’Conner reported that “…At least 5,000 homes have been destroyed and more than 20,000 damaged, with many urban centers reduced to nothing more than rubble…”[40]

Moreover, Israeli military assaults targeted public structures. “… The parliament and cabinet buildings in Gaza City were destroyed, as was the city’s police headquarters, the Bank of Palestine building, the main university, several mosques…”[41], and six major water wells were damaged or destroyed.[42] In addition, Gaza’s water and electricity networks were destroyed by the Israeli army.[43]

Israeli war crimes that took place in the Gaza Strip during the last three wars was an election issue adopted by former Israeli army chief, Benny Gantz. He produced an election video for his party in which he bragged about killing 1,364 Palestinians and returning parts of the Gaza Strip to the stone ages.[44] Gantz admits responsibility for these war crimes but is ready to use his crimes as means to win the votes of racist Israelis.

Moreover, on Thursday, August 9, 2018 the Said al-Mishal Centre, a cultural center in Gaza housing the region’s second-largest theater, was bombed by Israeli military forces. The five-floor edifice housed a library, an Egyptian community center, offices for cultural associations, and a theater for arts and dabkeh.[45]

As usual, the Zionist army claimed that the center “… was being used by “the Hamas terror organization for military purposes”[46], an evidence that has never been proved.

Moreover, during the war against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Zionist President Shimon Peres met with a delegation from AIPAC, the American Zionist lobby. In his speech to the delegation, Peres admitted that “… Israel’s aim, … was to provide a strong blow to the people of Gaza so that they would lose their appetite for shooting at Israel…”[47] That was a clear admission that the Zionist army deliberately and systematically targets Palestinian civilians.

One here should pause and ask the following question: Why the Israeli military, target Palestinian civilians in its aggressive wars? This is an attempted answer.

In the last three Israeli wars against the Gaza Strip, Israeli shelling deliberately targeted schools including UNRWA schools, market places, mourning houses and packed houses. This policy has been also implemented in Lebanon, and in Egypt during the Israeli bombardments in the seventies. The Israeli sinister logic behind this criminal policy is this: if you maximize civilian losses, civilians will stop backing Hamas or Hizballah. This faulty logic produced a systematic and deliberate policy of “mini” Zionist massacres. The shelling of civilian structures that are fully packed with people cannot be dismissed as mistakes nor as acted out in self-defense. So, the final aim of the Zionist aggressive colonial policy of choosing these targets, is to maximize civilian killings and terrorize the civilian population in order to force civilians to submit to Zionist colonial policies.

Components of the Vacuum Bomb

The Vacuum Bomb, named also the fuel–air explosive (FAE) is a type of explosive that depends on the use of two highly toxic fuels ethylene oxide and propylene oxide.[48] Once they detonate, they use the oxygen from the “… surrounding air to generate a high-temperature explosion. In practice, the blast wave typically produced by such a weapon is of a significantly longer duration than that produced by a conventional condensed explosive…”[49]

Once the Vacuum Bomb explodes,

“… the area around the explosion becomes overpressurized, resulting in highly compressed air particles that travel faster than the speed of sound. This wave will dissipate over time and distance and will exist only for a matter of milliseconds. This initial blast wave inflicts the most damage…”[50]

After explosion,

“… the bomb casing, as well as any additional shrapnel (nails, screws or other items included in the bomb), will be violently thrown outward and away from the explosion. When these fragments strike buildings, concrete, masonry, glass and even people, they may fragment even further — and cause even more damage…”[51]

The developments that immediately take place after the explosion are extremely dangerous because of the intensity in the creation of the vacuum and its immediate refill by the surrounding atmosphere. They were described by the author Tom Scheve in the following manner:

At the explosion site, a vacuum is created by the rapid outward movement of the blast. This vacuum will almost immediately refill itself with the surrounding atmosphere. This creates a very strong pull on any nearby person or structural surface after the initial push effect of the blast has been delivered. As this void is refilled, it creates a high-intensity wind that causes fragmented objects, glass and debris to be drawn back in toward the source of the explosion.[52]

It should be pointed out that chemical structure, the explosions, the consumption of the surrounding oxygen, and the vacuum creation, all lead to a number of health hazards.

Health Hazards of Vacuum Bombs

When it explodes, the Vacuum Bomb, “… predominantly affects the pulmonary, cardiovascular, auditory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous systems…”[53]

Moreover, there are a number of internal injuries that are caused by the health hazards of the vacuum bomb explosion. They could be showed as follows:

…”the effect of an FAE explosion within confined spaces is immense. Those near the ignition point are obliterated. Those at the fringe are likely to suffer many internal, and thus invisible injuries, including burst eardrums and crushed inner ear organs, severe concussions, ruptured lungs and internal organs, and possibly blindness.”[54]

In short, Vacuum Bombs are highly dangerous weapons that should be treated as forbidden weapons that should not be dropped on highly populated localities like the Gaza Strip. Despite this, the consecutive Israeli governments have been using these dangerous weapons against the Palestinian civilians since 2006.

Could It Be Genocide?

Al-Dameer, a Palestinian human rights organization, had published on 20 December 2009  “… another paper in Arabic on the increase in the number of babies born in Gaza with birth defects, thought to be the result of radioactive and toxic materials from Operation Cast Lead.The birth defects included incomplete hearts and malformations of the brain…”[55]

The conglomeration of Zionist war crimes caused by the use of forbidden weapons, the colonial siege of the Gaza Strip, the deliberate undernourishment of the Gazan Palestinians to the point of severe hunger, the criminal colonial Israeli policy of denying medical permits and restricting the importation of medicines to Gaza, the policy of shoot to kill at Gaza’s borders with the Zionist entity – all these policies and war crimes might very likely lead to genocide. But what is genocide according to International Law?

Article II of the Genocide Convention contains a narrow definition of the crime of genocide, which includes two main elements[56]:

    1. A mental element: the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such”; and
    2. A physical element, which includes the following five acts, enumerated exhaustively:
  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Throughout this research article, we have clearly encountered evidence of war crimes in the first four categories. However, the fifth category has not been so far committed by Israel. So, based on this evidence, the Palestinian civilian authorities can submit a demand to the United Nations relevant bodies to force Israel to become accountable for committing these war crimes.

Israel has violated a number of international laws and has violated a number of UN conventions, and resolutions. Due to American hegemony on the Security Council and the use of the veto power Israel was not held accountable for its violations. The Israelis actually admit these violations but they have a criminal way of looking at them. According to the Israeli violators:

If you do something for long enough, the world will accept it. The whole of international law is now based on the notion that an act that is forbidden today becomes permissible if executed by enough countries. … International law progresses through violations. We invented the targeted assassination thesis and we had to push it. At first there were protrusions that made it hard to insert easily into the legal molds. Eight years later, it is in the center of the bounds of legitimacy.[57]

This is the sick logic of settler colonialists that are armed and supported by Western imperialism. The American imperialists not only do that but they obstruct the work of the Security Council to prevent it from holding Israel accountable for its war crimes. However, this misconduct does not make Israel innocent because its war crimes cannot be hidden, forgotten, permitted or deleted. Israeli war crimes are strongly imprinted in the black annals of human history.

*

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Dr. Zuhair Sabbagh teaches sociology at Birzeit University in the colonized West Bank. He is a resident of Nazareth, Palestine. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Manchester and is author of a number of books and research articles.

Notes

[1] As quoted by Brooks, James “Starve Them; Shoot Them; then Give Them Cancer: An Inquiry into Israel’s use of DIME weaponry in of the Gaza Strip”, Vermonters for a Just Peace, https://vtjp.org, 22-1-2009

[2] Ma’an News, “Palestinian injuries suggest Israel is using chemical weapons in Gaza”, http://www.maannews.net 7-10-2006 and Shaoul, Jean, “Israel used chemical weapons in Lebanon and Gaza”, Centre for Research on Globalization, http://wsws.org, 24-110-2006. As quoted by Brooks, James, “US and Israel targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon”, Media Monitors Network, http://cosmos.ucc.ie, 4-12-2006

[3] Centre for Research on Globalization/Gulf News, “Israel ’is using chemical ammunition’ in Gaza”, http://www.globalresearch.ca, 13-6-2006. As quoted by Brooks, James “US and Israel targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon”, Media Monitors Network, http://cosmos.ucc.ie, 4-12-2006

[4] Brooks, James, “US and Israel targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon”, Media Monitors Network, http://cosmos.ucc.ie, 4-12-2006

[5] Halpin, David, “Are New weapons Being Used in Gaza and Lebanon”, Electronic Intifada, http://electronicintifada.net, 14-8-2006. As quoted by Lightbown, Richard,  “Israel’s Weapons: A Crime on Humanity”, https://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com, 1-5-2011.

[6] Wikipedia,” Dense Inert Metal Explosive”, https://en.wikipedia.org. Accessed 5-12-2020

[7] Brooks, James, op. cit.

[8] Al Baik, Duraid, “Israel ’is using chemical ammunition’ in Gaza”Centre for Research on Globalization/Gulf News, http://www.globalresearch.ca, 13-6-2006. As quoted by Brooks, James, “US and Israel targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon”, Media Monitors Network, http://cosmos.ucc.ie, 4-12-2006

[9] Halpin, David, Are New Weapons Being Used In Gaza and Lebanon, Electronic Intifada, http://electronicintifada.net, 14-8-2006 and Palestine News Network, Ministry of Health report on toxic Israeli weapons confirmed by Gaza City medical sources, http://www.pnn.ps, 13-7-2006. As quoted by Brooks, James, “US and Israel targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon”, Media Monitors Network, http://cosmos.ucc.ie, 4-12-2006

[10] “Doctors Report Unusual Weapon Used in Gaza”, Pacifica/Free Speech Radio News,  http://www.pacifica.org, 11-7-2006. As quoted by Brooks, James, “US and Israel targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon”, Media Monitors Network, http://cosmos.ucc.ie, 4-12-2006

[11] Ibid.

[12] “Italian TV: Israel used new weapon prototype in Gaza Strip”, Israeli daily Ha’aretz, 10/19/2006 http://www.haaretz.com, 19-10-2006. As quoted by Brooks, James, “US and Israel targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon”, Media Monitors Network, http://cosmos.ucc.ie, 4-12-2006

[13] Kalinich et al, “Embedded Weapons-Grade Tungsten Alloy Shrapnel Rapidly Induces Metastatic High-Grade Rhabdomyosarcomas in F344 Rats”, Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 113, Number 6, June 2005, http://www.ehponline.org. As quoted by Brooks, James, “US and Israel targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon”, Media Monitors Network, http://cosmos.ucc.ie, 4-12-2006

[14] Mayo Clinic Staff, “Polycythemia vera”, https://www.mayoclinic.org. Accessed on: 1-1-2021

[15] Lightbown, Richard,  “Israel’s Weapons: A Crime on Humanity”, https://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com, 1-5-2011

[16] Middle East Monitor, “8,515 cancer patients in Gaza “https://www.middleeastmonitor.com, 5-2-2019

[17] Nedaa Alabadla, King-Hadduck, and Kevin, Edward, TEAM FUNDRAISER, “Cancer Patients in the Gaza”, https://www.gofundme.com. ACCESSED 12-12-2020

[18] WHO, “Palestinian cancer patients in Gaza wait months for Israel permits”,  https://www.middleeastmonitor.com, 6-2-2019

[19] Chambers, Jay, “Meet the Flechette – the Deadliest Weapon of World War I?”, https://www.historyandheadlines.com, 22-1-2020

[20] Centaurs in Vietnam, “Rockets”, http://centaursinvietnam.org. Accessed 8-12-2020

[21] Btselem, “Firing of Flechette shell that killed Reuters cameraman violates laws of war”, https://www.btselem.org, 17-4-2008

[22] Sabot Designs LLC, “Flechette Shotgun Amunition”, http://www.sabotdesigns.com. Accessed 8-12-2020

[23] Bartlett, Eva, “Ensuring maximum casualties in Gaza”, The Electronic Intifadahttp://electronicintifada.net, 16-3-2009

[24] Bartlett, Eva, “Ensuring maximum casualties in Gaza”, The Electronic Intifadahttp://electronicintifada.net, 16-3-2009

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Head, Mike, “US rearms Israel as its war crimes mount in Gaza”, https://www.wsws.org, 31-7-2014

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Di Stefano, Vincent, “And What Rough Beast Slouches Towards Gaza”, https://www.commondreams.org, 25-12-2010

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Chassay, Clancy, “Cut to pieces: the Palestinian family drinking tea in their courtyard”, https://www.theguardian.com, 23-3-2009

[37] Ibid.

[38] Ibid.

[39] Cook, William A., Now Israel Is Free to Declare Its Innocence before the International Court of Justice”, http://salem-news.com, 15-4-2011

[40] O’Connor, Patrick , “Reports reveal devastation wreaked by Israeli military in Gaza”, https://www.wsws.org, 20-1-2009

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Abunimah, Ali, “Israeli election ad boasts Gaza bombed back to stone ages”, https://electronicintifada.net, 21-1-2019

[45] Weber, Jasmine,  “Palestinian Cultural Center Destroyed by Israeli Military in Recent Attacks”, https://hyperallergic.com, 10-8-2018.

[46] Ibid.

[47] Fay Cashman, Greer, “’Solidarity during war is Israel’s finest hour’”, https://www.jpost.com, 14-1-2009

[48] Wikipedia, “Thermobaric weapon”,  https://en.wikipedia.org. Accessed 9-12-2020

[49] Ibid.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Andr, David, “MUNITIONS – Thermobaric Munitions and their Medical Effects”, https://jmvh.org. Accessed 4-1-2021

[54] Wikipedia, “Thermobaric weapon”,  https://en.wikipedia.org. Accessed 9-12-2020

[55] Salam, Kawther, “Abortions, Cancer, Diseases and…in Gaza”,  http://www.intifada-palestine.com, 29 December 2009. As quoted by Lightbown, Richard,  “Israel’s Weapons: A Crime on Humanity”, https://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com, 1-5-2011

[56] United Nations, “Genocide”, https://www.un.org, 2-1-2021

[57] “Israel: Transforming International Law by Violating It”, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/4/09. As quoted by Di Stefano, Vincent, “And What Rough Beast Slouches Towards Gaza”, https://www.commondreams.org, 25-12-2010

Related

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (05- 11 November 2020)

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05 – 11 November 2020

  • In 96 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 94 civilians arrested, including 9 children, 2 women (including a journalist)
  • IOF raids a hospital in Tulkarm and fired sound bombs inside its premises, inciting fear among patients and medical crews
  • IOF demolished a house and a car wash in Jerusalem, and bulldozed an aluminium workshop in Hebron
  • IOF established 70 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians. This week, Kamal N. Abu-Wa’ar, a 46-year-old Palestinian imprisoned by Israel for the last 17 years was pronounced dead on Tuesday evening, 10 November 2020, at Shamir Medical Center in Israel. The late Abu-Wa’ar, originally from Yabad village near Jenin, suffered throat cancer and his health had been steadily declining for over a year. Abu-Wa’ar is the second prisoner to die in Israeli prison this year.

Abu-Wa’ar’s death shed a light on the general decline in the living conditions for thousands of Palestinians in Israeli prisons, and reveals the extent of punitive measure Israel shamelessly adopts against them; namely medical negligence, as Israeli authorities delay offering needed medical treatment, and do not provide the necessary medications for hundreds of prisoners with chronic and dangerous diseases. This manifestation is a serious violation of the occupation authority’s duties to provide humane imprisonment conditions and health care pursuant to the Fourth Geneva Convention stipulations, particularly Articles 85 and 125.

IOF also continued to create new facts on the ground by maintaining its policy of demolishing, confiscating and razing Palestinian houses and properties for its settlement expansion schemes in the West Bank.

This week, PCHR documented 180 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt. It should be noted that the limitations due to the corona virus pandemic, has limited PCHR’s fieldworkers mobility and ability to conduct field documentation; therefore, the information contained in this report are only part of the continued IOF violations.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

Seven Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, sustained wounds in IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank; as well as one fisherman in Gaza. Also this week, IOF raided Dr. Thabet Thabet Hospital in Tulkarem, northern West Bank; fired sound bombs in the emergency room terrorizing patients and medical crews and causing damage.

In the Gaza Strip, six IOF shootings were reported at agricultural lands eastern Gaza Strip; and two other shooting incidents against fishing boats, western Gaza.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 96 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 94 Palestinians were arrested, including 9 children and 2 women (one is journalist). In Gaza, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern Central Gaza.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 7 incidents, including:

  • Bethlehem: a Palestinian was served a notice to vacate his land for planned confiscation; an agricultural room was demolished;
  • East Jerusalem: Demolitions in Wadi Al-Rababa – Silwan village; a car wash, container and barracks were demolished in ‘Anata; and a house demolished in Sur Baher.
  • Hebron: an aluminium workshop destroyed; 5 cease-construction served to 3 Palestinians for alleged unlicensed construction.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented an incident where a group of settlers detained a Palestinian in his land in al-Rajman area, Beit Dajan, Nablus.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.

  1. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
  • At approximately 17:00 on Thursday, 05 November 2020, IOF gunboats stationed off al-Waha area, northwest of Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles, opened heavy fire and pumped water at them, causing fear and panic among them and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 07:00 on Friday, 06 November 2020, IOF stationed near the annexation wall along Eastern Toura village borders, west of Jenin, opened fire at a 25-year-old civilian, from Nazlet Zeid village, when he was near the security fence. As a result, he was injured with a bullet in the right shoulder.
  • At approximately 09:40, IOF stationed inside the Gaza-Israel border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in Central Gaza Strip opened fire at the agricultural lands by the landfill, west of the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00, Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-Zawiyah area in central Hebron and threw stones and empty bottles at the checkpoint established at the entrance to the closed Shuhadaa’ Street leading to Tel Rumeida area. IOF fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at the stone-throwers and chased them to the market area, forcing shops to close.  The clashes continued until 18:00, but no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Saturday, 07 November 2020, IOF stationed at the “northern entrance” established on Kafr Qaddum lands, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest organized by dozens of Palestinian civilians. IOF chased the young men, who gathered in the area and clashed with them, firing rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, a 22-year-old civilian was injured with a rubber bullet in the back while another 20-year-old was injured with a rubber bullet in the foot.
  • At approximately 16:00, an IOF infantry unit moved from the watchtower established at the western entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, into the refugee camp, north of Hebron.  The soldiers deployed between houses, and young men gathered in the area and confronted the troops by throwing stones at them.  The soldiers chased the stone-throwers through the neighborhoods, firing sound bombs and teargas canisters.  As a result, a number of young men suffocated due to teargas inhalation.  The soldiers were in the camp until 18:00 while no house raids were reported.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF gunboats stationed off al-Waha area, northwest of Beit Lahia, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 1 nautical mile and opened heavy fire at them.  As a result, Mohammad ‘Ali Yasin Zayed (26),  fisherman from Beit Lahia, sustained a minor injury caused by a rubber bullet in the left thigh when he was on a boat with his brother, Maysarah (18). The shooting and chasing also caused fear and panic among fishermen and forced them to flee.
  • At approximately 07:00 on Sunday, 08 November 2020, IOF stationed inside the Gaza-Israel border fence, northeast of al-Bureij in central Gaza Strip, fired teargas canisters at bird hunters, west of the border fence.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF stationed inside the border fence, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at the agricultural lands and a sanitation truck in eastern ‘Abasan town adjacent to the fence.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 20:00, Karam Eyad Mahmoud Sammar (17) from al-Yamun village, northwest of Jenin, sustained various bruises all over his body  after being assaulted by IOF when he was near the security fence in Rumana village to the western side of Jenin.  An ambulance arrived and took him to the Governmental Hospital in Jenin. Sammar was trying to infiltrate into Israel via the security fence seeking a job opportunity. 
  • At approximately 01:30 on Monday, 09 November 2020, IOF raided Dr. Thabet Thabet Governmental Hospital, IOF moved into the Hospital’s western yard in Tulkarm, north of the West Bank. One of its soldiers fired sound bombs inside the Emergency Department, causing fear among patients and their companions and some damage. 
  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 09 November 2020, IOF inside the border fence, northeast of al-Bureij in central Gaza Strip fired teargas canisters at some bird hunters, west of the border fence.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 07:30 on Tuesday 10 November 2020, IOF stationed inside the Gaza – Israel border fence, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at the adjacent agricultural lands in eastern Qarara. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into ‘Ebeid neighborhood, west of al-‘Isawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.  They deployed in the neighborhood and established checkpoints at the main entrance.  Meanwhile, young Palestinian men protested and threw stones, fireworks and Molotov Cocktails at the IOF, who responded by firing rubber-coated metal bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs at the protesters.  IOF arrested Anwar Sai ‘Abeid (22).
  • Also on Tuesday evening, Kamal N. Abu-Wa’ar, a 46-year-old Palestinian imprisoned by Israel for the last 17 years was pronounced dead on Tuesday evening, 10 November 2020, at Shamir Medical Center in Israel. The late Abu-Wa’ar, originally from Yabad village near Jenin, suffered throat cancer and his health had been steadily declining for over a year.

In October 2019, Abu-Wa’ar, who was imprisoned at Jalbou’ prison, was diagnosed with throat cancer and transferred to Rambam Hospital in Haifa for chemotherapy, which was delivered to him via a chest-tube. His health condition rapidly deteriorated, as he suffered breakdown of platelets, extreme fatigue, and difficulty breathing, dysphasia, and extreme weight loss as he required tube feeding, according to the Commission of Detainees Affairs. Last July, Abu Wa’ar contracted COVID-19 and was transferred from Jalbou’ prison to Ramla Prison Clinic. He was put on an assistive breathing device; but unfortunately, his health continued to decline, and he was transferred back to Shamir Medical Center where he was pronounced dead yesterday.

Abu-Wa’ar’s death shed a light on the general decline in the living conditions for thousands of Palestinians in Israeli prisons, and reveals the extent of punitive measure Israel shamelessly adopts against them; namely medical negligence, as Israeli authorities delay offering needed medical treatment, and do not provide the necessary medications for hundreds of prisoners with chronic and dangerous diseases. This manifestation is a serious violation of the occupation authority’s duties to provide humane imprisonment conditions and health care pursuant to the Fourth Geneva Convention stipulations, particularly Articles 85 and 125.

Also, Abu-Wa’ar’s death highlights the persistent Israeli disregard for repeated calls for the release of dozens of Palestinian prisoners with chronic and serious diseases who have spent many years behind bars, all the while neglecting its duty to provide them with adequate health care services. Many Palestinian prisoners lost their lives due to this deliberate indifference, the latest victim was Sa’di Khalil al-Gharabli (74) from Gaza City, who died on 08 July 2020, after spending 26 years in imprisonment, and had suffered chronic diseases, including prostate cancer; yet, he was left to die in prison.

  • At approximately 06:50 on Wednesday, 11 November 2020, IOF stationed inside the Gaza-Israel border fence, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at the adjacent agricultural lands and bird hunters, east of Khuza’a. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF stationed by the annexation wall near “Oranit” settlement, southern Qalqilya, opened fire at a group of Palestinians attempting to cross into their lands to harvest olive trees in Azzun Atma village. As a result, Mo’nes M. I. Younis (16) from Sanniriya village, Qalqilya, sustained three rubber-bullet injuries in the abdomen and feet. He was immediately transported to Yaser Arafat Hospital in Salfit for treatment.
  • At approximately 13:00, a group of Palestinians gathered by the entrance of Fawwar refugee camp, Hebron, where IOF maintain a military watchtower. The group blocked the road and set tiers ablaze. Two IOF patrols arrived at the camp’s main road and were met with stones; soldiers chased the boys across fields and fired stun grenades and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, many suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. The clashes continued until 17:00, during which IOF closed the camp’s entrance and banned traffic to and from the camp.
  • At approximately 15:00, a group of young men and boys gathered by the entrance to Beit Ummar village, northern Hebron, where IOF maintain a military watchtower. The group threw stones at the watchtower and set tires on fire. IOF military vehicles arrived at the village; soldiers chased the stone-throwers in Asida area and fired stun grenades and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, many suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. The clashes continued until18:30, IOF fired rubber bullets and injured a 14-year-old boy in his right hand, and a 16-year-old boy in his left leg. They were both transported to the emergency department in the village.
  • At approximately 15:30, a group of young men and boys gathered by al-Bireh’s northern entrance and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed at al-Mahkama military checkpoint, established near “Beit El” settlement, north of al-Bireh. A group of soldiers fired tear gas and stun grenades, as well as rubber bullets and clashes erupted causing dozens of cases of tear-gas inhalation. IOF chased and arrested: Amro A. Arar (19); Ahmed H. Dar Omar (20) from Qarawat Bani Zeid village, northwestern Ramallah. The group gathered again and threw stones at the soldiers stationed behind cement blocks; the soldiers responded with shooting tear gas canisters, directly aimed at the boys, and chased them. They arrested 6 Palestinians, including 2 children and detained them inside al-Mahkama checkpoint. The arrestees are: Mounir S. Abu-Arkoub (17), from Kafr Ein village; Yousif A. Dardas (17) and Khaled M. al-Masri (24) from Abwein village; Fathi M. Fahel (20) from Kobar village; Amer A. Qendah (18), from Abu Shukheidim village; and Baraa Shalaldeh (20), from Ramallah.

II. Incursions and arrests:

Thursday, 05 November 2020:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into al-Issawiya village, northeast to the occupied East  Jerusalem. They raided and searched Yazan Amjad Obaid’s (19) house and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Khillat Hadour, the southern area of Hebron. They raided and searched Abdullah Wissam Abu Shamsiya’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Illar, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (5) civilians and released them later. The arrestees are: Emad Ahmed Abu Esba, Nazeer Mohammed Nassar, Jameel Jamal Ja’ar, Jaser Mohammed Kharouf, and Nader Salem Kharouf.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Attil village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Marwan Mahmoud Sidqi and Amjad Adnan Abu Khalil. They were released later.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Deir al-Ghusun village, north of Tulkarm. They arrested Fo’ad Mohammed al-Qeb and released him later.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Seida village, north of Tulkarm, and arrested Lo’ay Fadi al-Ashqar and Fadi Monther Raddad. IOF released them later.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Abu Freiha area in Beit Sahur. They raided and searched Hamada Omar Abayat’s (30) house and took him to an unknown destination.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Issawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Yazan Amjad Obaid (19), and Yazan Emran Obaid (18), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Abdullah Mohammed Rasras’ (25) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Deir Sharaf village, west of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Fakher ‘Aqil As’ad Zaghloul (22).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Beit Hanina, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ahmed Ali Shalalida’s house and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into Azun, east of Qalqiliya, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians. The arrestees are: Abdul Karim Yaser Hussain (24), Mostafa Sufian al-Riyashi (23), and Zeid Fathi Swaidan (19).
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched Ghassan Ehsan al-Rimawi’s (31) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF stormed a bird’s store bear Road 90 in al-Auja village, north of Jericho governorate. They raided and searched the store which belongs to Omar Nasrallah al-Salaima and confiscated about 20 birds (various kinds).
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Wadi al-Joz, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched the Secretary General of the Clans of Jerusalem and Palestine, and head of the Arab Jerusalem Campaign, Abdullah Hasan ‘Alqam (53), and arrested him.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Ali Mohammed al-Kaswani’s (18) house and took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Sebstia in Nablus governorate; al-Nazla al-Sharqiya and al-Wusta, north of Tulkarm; Azun, east of Qalqilya; and Kafr Ne’ma, west of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 06 November 2020:

  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Mazra’a al-Gharbiya village, north of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched Laith Mahmoud Ladadwa’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. They deployed among civilians’ houses and stormed two houses belonging to Najeeb Awni Hawil (30) and Ahmed Mahmoud Nasharti (28).
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Beit Kahil and Deir al-‘Asal, in Hebron governorate; Ramallah and Bituniya, west of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 07 November 2020:

  • At approximately 22:00, IOF arrested Hamza al-Tamimi (22), from Dahiyat al-Salam area in Anata, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem, while appearing for a summons from the Israeli Intelligence Services, and he was brought to the court the next morning. It should be noted that al-Tamimi was arrested a day before his wedding day.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested Mosbah Majed al-Waridat (33), from al-Thahiriya, south of Hebron, while present near the border fence near “Meitar” military checkpoint, west of the village. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF stationed at Container military checkpoint, east of Bethlehem, arrested Monjed Mohammed al-Darawish (27), from Dura, south of Hebron governorate, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions into Yatta, Hebron and Surif. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 08 November 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into the prisoner Nazmi Mohammed Abu Baker’s (49) house, from Yabad, west of Jenin. They raided and searched the house and no arrests were reported. It should be noted that Abu Baker was accused of killing an Israeli soldier by throwing a stone at his head in an IOF raid into the village in May 2020.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; Ahmed Marwan Abu Jom’a (20), Ameer Ra’ed Abu Mfareh (21), Mohammed Naji Abu Jom’a (18), and Abdullah Mohammed Abu Jom’a (19).
  • At approximately 10:00, Ali Belal Taha (17), from Shu’fat refugee camp, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem, surrendered himself to al-Ramla prison to serve his 4 and a half months sentence. Taha was previously injured by IOF.

Bilal Taha stated that his son, Ali, received a summons to surrender himself after being sentenced to jail last week. Taha would stay in al-Ramla prison for 2 weeks (within the COVID-19 preventive measures) then he will be transferred to al-Damoun prison to serve the full duration of his sentence. Taha said that his son was injured in 02 July 2019, while passing through Shu’fat refugee camp’s checkpoint, when IOF opened fire at him and shot him in the leg.  IOF arrested him while he was bleeding; despite the injury they assaulted him and detained him in a room before transferring him to the hospital via an Israeli ambulance. His family knew nothing about him, and they were banned from accompanying him. Taha added that Ali spent 14 days under arrest in the hospital despite his injury, then he was released on an open-ended house arrest in Beit Hanina. In September 2019, his sentence was reduced from the house arrest in Beit Hanina to house arrest in his house in Shu’fat refugee camp. He also mentioned that Ali had received 8 surgeries and is still in need for two others.

  • At approximately 11:00, IOF moved into Beit Hanina, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Shady Saad al-Mtour’s (44) house, the Secretary of Fatah movement in Jerusalem, and handed him a summons to refer to al-Maskoubeya investigation center in West Jerusalem.

Fadi al-Mtour, Shady’s brother, said that the Israeli Intelligence Services interrogated his brother for several hours and then they handed him a decision signed by the Israeli Minister of Internal Security that imposed restrictions on his movement claiming that he was perpetuating Palestinian sovereignty inside Jerusalem and threatening the security of Israel. Fadi added that his brother was prevented from making any activities in Jerusalem or providing any assistances, even humanitarian, for the city residents; he was also banned from organizing or participating in any conferences or events in the city. It should be noted that this decision came after dozens of decisions, summonses, and arrests against Mr. al-Mtour, including banning his entry to al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem’s Old City, and prohibition on his contact with 22 activists and prominent figures.

  • At approximately 15:00, IOF stationed at Bab Huta, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, arrested Shady Talal Abu Snaina (26). He was taken to one of the police stations in the city.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested 3 civilians from al-Jalama village, north of Jenin, attempted to enter Israel through the annexation wall’s gate for work. IOF took Mohammed Yaser Sha’ban, Mohammed Zakaria Hamdan, and Fadi Mohye Abu Farha to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into Bab Huta, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Rami Saleh al-Fakhouri’s (29) house and confiscated all the cell phones in the house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in al-Maskoubeya police station in West Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF moved into al-Sa’diya neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Mohammed Khaled Hazina’s (24) house, confiscated all the cell phones in the house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Silwan’s central neighborhood, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Marwan Othman al-Ghoul’s (46) house, director of Silwan GYM, and handed him a summons to refer to the Maskoubeya police station on the next day.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions into Seida town, northeastern Tulkarm. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 09 November 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Salah al-Masa’eed’s (18) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Dura, southwest of Hebron, and stationed in al-Binouk and Abu Hilal neighborhoods. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Mohammed Yousef Shahin (29) and Mo’ayad Waleed Amro (19).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit Ta’mir village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (5) civilians including 3 brothers. The arrestees are: Murad Mohammed Abu Muhaimed (38), Mohammed Hashem Abu Muhaimed (42), Salah Jom’a Abu Muhaimed (25), and his brothers Mo’taz (29) and Fo’ad (28).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Eizariya, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Ibrahim Fayez Murar’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Qaffin, north of Tulkarm, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Emad Fahmi Zaghloul (38). It should be noted that IOF confiscated his cell phone, money, and searched his office in al-Ashqar complex area, in Tulkarm.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron, and stationed in Ein Sara area. They raided and searched Nidal Salah Zughaiar’s house and arrested his two sons; Mos’ab (25) and Salah (29).
  • At approximately 02:40, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched several stores; no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Laith Ammar (22) and Eyad al-Shahham’s (23) houses and arrested them.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into al-Issawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Samer Abu Riyala (16) and Eisa Thafer Abu Riyala’s (16) family home and arrested them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Shawawra village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched the former prisoner Oday ‘Adi Ibrahim Salim’s (31) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at Nablus-Jerusalem road, 3-kilometers away from al-Mahkama military checkpoint, established near “Beit El” settlement, north of al-Bireh, north of Ramallah governorate, detained Palestine TV staff while heading to Jiftlik village, north of Jericho.

Photojournalist, Mohammed Awawda (24), said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“At approximately 12:30, I was heading with 5 of the Palestine TV staff including the driver Mohammed Mousa, Maryam al-Tarifi, Abdul Karim Abu Sharif, and Hamed Nammoura from Jericho to Ramallah to shoot a TV program in Jiftlik village, north of Jericho governorate. When we arrived at Nablus-Jerusalem road, an Israeli police vehicle intercepted our way and the policemen surrounded, stopped and searched our car, ID cards and recording equipment. They detained us for 30 minutes claiming that they were doing the search procedure, before they let us continue on our way”.

  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Khaldoun Izzat Salah’s (47) house and took him to al-Bareed police station in Salah al-Dein street, in the center of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF stationed at Yitzhar military checkpoint at the entrance of Huwara village, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank, arrested the journalist Bushra Jamal al-Tawil (27), and took her to Hasharon detention center in Israel.

Montaha al-Tawil, Bushra’s mother, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“In the morning, Bushra left for Jenin with a friend for shopping. At approximately 18:30, she called me and told me that IOF stopped her vehicle at Yitzhar military checkpoint, examined her ID, and detained her. Bushra told me that an Israeli intelligence officer called her and informed her that she was under arrest and to be taken to Hasharon prison.”

It should be noted that the first time IOF arrested al-Tawil was on 06 July 2011, and she was sentenced to 16 months in jail, but was released within five months in the 2011 prisoner exchange deal. She was re-arrested on 02 July 2014 and sentenced to serve the remaining period of her 2011 imprisonment. On 17 May 2015, she was released after spending 10 and a half months in lock-up. In 2017, IOF arrested al-Tawil on administrative arrest, after raiding and searching her home. Again in 2019, she was arrested for her journalistic work, recording sit-ins for ex-Palestinian prisoners. She was released after 8 months in administrative detention.

  • At approximately 20:00, IOF moved into al-Issawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ma’moun Muhaisen’s house and arrested his sons Mo’men (19) and Mohammed (16). IOF took them to unknown destinations.
  • At approximately 21:50, IOF stationed at the entrance of Qusra village, southeast OF Nablus, arrested (3) civilians from the village, and released them later. The arrestees are: Ahmed Nimir Owda, Hammam Mohammed Mosbah, and Khaled Ibrahim Owda.
  • IOF carried out one incursion into Sebastia, Nablus. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 10 November 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Yabad village, southwestern Jenin; they raided and searched Mohammed A. Hamarshe’s (30) home and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Silat ad-Dhahr town, southwestern Jenin; they raided and searched Naief H. al-Qady’s (28) family home and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:20, IOF moved into Kafr Qallil village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and withdrew at approximately 04:40. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:50, IOF moved into Mas-ha village in Salfit; soldiers raided and searched several houses and arrested Belal S. Amer (22).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, and stationed in the center of the camp. They raided and searched two houses and arrested two children; Ammar Mohammed Jawabera (16), and Eyad Hani Ja’ara (15).
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Dura, southwest of Hebron, and stationed in Kureisa area. They raided and searched Eyad Mohammed Abdullah Rajoub’s (33) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Halhul, north of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Mohammed Jehad al-Wawi’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF reinforced with 4 military construction vehicles moved 100 meters into the border fence by Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip, then proceeded towards al-Maghazi. They razed the lands and later redeployed back on the Israeli side.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into the Youth Center at Shu’fat refugee camp, northeastern occupied East Jerusalem. They searched the center for two hours and seized several documents. Before withdrawing, IOF arrested Mohammed al-Bahri, Director of the Center, and escorted him to a detention center in the city.

The Youth Center issued a press statement highlighting that this is the second raid of its kind to the center and arrest of its director without legal cause within the year and it is motivated by the growing impact of the center in the refugee camp.

  • At approximately 18:00, Israeli special forces arrested Ahmed Hasan al-Lawzi (26), while on duty in a-Lawzi Gas Station in Jerusalem-Ramallah street, near Qalandiya military checkpoint, north of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into occupied East Jerusalem’s old city, raided and searched several houses and served summonses to three Palestinians: Ahed al-Resheq – Jerusalem Regional Committee member; Raed Hijazi – Jerusalem Mayor; and Naser Qaws – Head of Jerusalem’s The Palestinian Prisoners Society.

Wednesday, 11 November 2020:

  • At approximately 01:50, IOF stormed Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mo’ath Mohammed al-Ghandour.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF backed by several military vehicles stormed Fawwar refugee camp, south of Heborn. They raided 3 houses and arrested Hasan Karam Zaghmout (27), Ibrahim Ali Abu Wardah (21), and Jawad Zeyad Hadeeb (26).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF backed by several military vehicles stormed Sa’ir village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Ali Mousa Jaradat’s (30) house and arrested him.
  •  At approximately 03:00, IOF stormed Fawwar refugee camp, in the center of Ramallah. They raided and searched Hamada Nakhlah’s (25) family house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF stormed Um Al-Sharayet neighborhood in the center of al-Birah, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house owned Ayman Abed Abu Sareea (26) and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF backed by several military vehicles stormed Kobar village, north of Ramallah. They patrolled the streets  and stationed in the eastern neighborhood. The soldiers deployed between houses and a number of them raided a 4-story building owned by Zebar family; each floor has 6 apartments. After blowing up the doors of the ground floor, which consists of a store and shops, the soldiers raided Mahmoud Yusuf Zebar’s (44) apartment and arrested him and his son Shadi (21). The soldiers also raided the apartment of Mahmoud’s brother Mohammed (43) and arrested him. The detainees were taken to the apartment of their brother Ra’ed and arrested his wife Nedaa Mohammed Suleiman (38). IOF further raided a house owned by Wa’el Yusuf al-Taqez (43) and arrested him. It should be noted that Israeli soldiers raided and searched Ra’ed’s house on 01 November 2020 and arrested his son Marcel. IOF released Nedaa Suleiman on the same evening.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF stormed al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Mahmoud Ahmed Ashayer (17) and Na’im Ibrahim Ashayer (13) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF accompanied with a vehicle full of settlers stormed Kafl Hares village, north of Salfit. They stationed at the village’s square and broadcast Jewish songs in the area.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF stormed al-Thawri neighborhood, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house owned by Redwan Jamal Amro (34), Head of the Manuscripts Department at Al-Aqsa Mosque. They ruined the house contents and confiscated cell phones, PCs and a number of papers and books and then arrested Amro.

IOF’s arrest of Redwan was part of an Israeli campaign that escalated lately against al-Aqsa Mosque officers, especially those affiliated with Islamic Endowments (Awqaf) Department’s and Mosque’s guards. Few days ago, IOF raided and searched Directorate of Forensic Science Services near Bab al-Asbat and arrested head of the Directorate of Forensic Science, deputy director general of al-Aqsa Mosque, Najeh Dawoud Bakirat (64) and denied him access to the Old City, al-Aqsa Mosque and all roads leading to it for 6 months. IOF are targeting al-Aqsa officers and guards by arresting them, deporting them, in addition to harassment acts to dissuade them from protecting  and securing al-Aqsa Mosque.

III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • On Thursday, 05 November 2020, Israeli authorities notified Yusuf Rayan to evacuate his land in Khalayel Al-Louz village, southeast of Bethlehem, in preparation to its confiscation alleging that the land falls under the sovereignty of the State of Israel.

Hasan Brijiyah, Head of the Popular Anti-Settlement Committee in Bethlehem, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli authorities notified Yusuf Rayan to evacuate his agricultural land (dozens of dunums implanted with olive trees) in Khalayel Al-Louz village, alleging that this land is part of the State of Israel. Brijiyah also said that this practice is an example of the intense restriction policy imposed by IOF on civilians, especially that Khalayel Al-Louz,  Khelat Al Quton, and Khelat al-Nahlah areas, are excessively attacked by IOF and settlers for being  adjacent to “Efrat” and “Tuqu’ “ settlements which were established on Palestinians’ lands, east of Bethlehem.

  • On Monday morning, 09 November 2020, IOF’s bulldozers demolished an agricultural room owned by Yusuf Abu Hammad under the pretext of non-licensing. The room was located between Jurat ash-Sham’a and Wadi and Nis villages, south of Bethlehem,.

Abu Hammad said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the demolition shocked him, especially that he had built the room many years ago in his own land. Abu Hammad added that IOF alleged that the tin-plated 30-sqm room was built without a license.

  • At approximately 06:00 on Monday, 09 November 2020, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority’s crews and vehicles, secured by dozens of Israeli soldiers, stormed Wadi al-Rababah neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They carried out demolitions in the area. Eyewitnesses stated to PCHR’s fieldworker that the neighborhood’s residents confronted IOF’s vehicles in order to stop the demolition. Israeli soldiers fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the residents and attempted to disperse them. However, the residents withstood and forced the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority’s crews and vehicles to withdraw from the neighborhood. Before their withdrawal, IOF arrested Mahmoud Samrin (47).

Israeli Municipality and the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority have latterly intensified bulldozing and demolishing of Palestinians’ lands in Wadi al-Rababah neighborhood in Silwan village, for the intended purpose of establishing new settlements. IOF use force during these operations, despite of the previous judicial decision to stop them. Wadi al-Rababah is subjected to recurrent attacks by Israeli settlers in order to seize control of it under the pretext of being absentee-owned lands.  Wadi al-Rababah neighborhood is located in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, it was built on 350 dunums implanted with fruit and olive trees that are property of Silwan village residents. The neighborhood that has about 100 houses and a mosque is threatened of evacuation and confiscation of more than 100 dunums of these lands to establish the so-called ““National Park” project. Wadi al-Rababh area has a strategic importance as it is only 400 meters away from al-Aqsa Mosque and it is also located between al-Bustan neighborhood and the western side of occupied Jerusalem. Therefore, this area connects the western and eastern parts of the city. In addition, this area contains Canaanite, Roman and Islamic remains.

  • At approximately 08:0 on Tuesday, 10 November 2020, IOF backed by several military vehicles and accompanied with Civil Administration vehicle and a bulldozer stormed Hebron’s northern neighborhood, adjacent to the bypass road. They demolished a 100 sqm, tin-plated aluminum workshop. The workshop is owned by Loai Abdul Rahim Ahmed al-Shani, and it was built one year ago. Israeli authorities handed the Military decision No. (96/ 1797) to al-Shani on Wednesday, 14 November 2020.

The military decision No. (1797) issued in 2018, allows the Civil Administration officer to issue a decision to demolish of remove any building where construction was not completed within 6 months or it was inhabited by it residents for less than 30 days from the date of the inspector’s arrival to the site.

This kind of notices deprive civilians their right to defend their houses or facilities. The Israeli Supreme Court also refuse the file an appeal to freeze or cancel these notices. Civilians further are  denied of applying a license for their targeted houses due to the short legal period allowed by the military order.

  • On Tuesday, 10 November 2020, IOF demolished several commercial facilities in ‘Anata village, northeast of occupied east Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of building without a license.

‘Anata village Municipality stated that Israeli Civil Administration bulldozers stormed the village from its southern entrance and demolished a car wash, a container, and a barrack owned by Ammar al-Salaimeh under the pretext of building without a license. The car was adjacent to “Pisgat Ze’ev” settlement established on Palestinian lands, north of ‘Anata village.  The municipality emphasized that the car wash, the container, and the barrack were built on an area of 150sqm 5 months ago. IOF also leveled the land where the facilities were built before they withdrew from the village.

  • At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 11 November 2020, IOF backed by 2 military vehicles and accompanied with Civil Administration vehicle stormed Tawana village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The soldiers deployed between houses while the Civil Administration officer handed 5 demolition notices to three civilians under the pretext of building without a license. These notices were as following:
Affected PersonFacilityDescriptionDistanceType of notification
Fadel Mohammed Ibrahim al-AmourAgricultural roomBricks and tin plates30sqmWritten summons
Ashraf Mahmoud al-AmourAgricultural roomBricks and tin plates65sqmHalt work
Ashraf Mahmoud al-AmourWater wellBricks and tin plates100sqmHalt work
Mohammed Issa Rab’iAgricultural residence———80sqmSummons
Mohammed Issa Rab’iWater wellBricks and tin plates90sqmSummons

Israeli authorities handed civilians notices in the form of summonses alleging that the facility’s owner, which has been served a previous notice, did not submit any legal documents before the Israeli competent authorities to settle his case.

  • At approximately 16:00 on Wednesday, 11 November 2020, Israeli municipality crews demolished Odai Rabaiya’s house in Sur Baher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of building without license. IOF also arrested Mohammed and Ahmed Robaiya after they heavily beat them.

Rabaiya stated to PCHR’s fieldworker that he was shocked when IOF raided his house. The municipality crews emptied its contents and closed the whole area and then demolished the house. Rabaiya emphasized that he and his family of 5, including 4 children, have been living in the house since 2016. The Israeli Municipality issued a decision in 2017 to demolish the house. He managed to delay the decision several times and the municipality imposed a construction fine of NIS 55,000 on him, that he is still paying to this date. Rabaiya added that last July, the Israeli court gave him 21 days before applying the demolition, but he managed to delay it until early this month through his engineer and lawyer. The Israeli municipality rejected to freeze or delay the demolition decision and informed him that he must proceed with self-demolishing his house without defining a time limit.

Israeli Settlers’ Attacks

  • At approximately 13:10, Monday, 10 November 2020,  a group of Israeli settlers detained Tareq Abu Ghunaim in his land in al-Rajman area, adjacent to Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus. The settlers searched his cell phone, questioned him, and released him later.

V. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

The West bank:

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. IOF established 70 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 3 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against

Individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

  • On Thursday evening, 05 November 2020, IOF tightened its arbitrary measures at Beit Iksa checkpoint, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem, obstructed the traffic movement for civilians, and established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Al-Eizariya village, and Biddu village’s tunnel.
  • On Saturday morning, 07 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to ‘Anat village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.
  •  At approximately 9:00 on Sunday, 08 November 2020, IOF closed Qalandiya military checkpoint for hours under the pretext of suspicious object, causing severe traffic jam.
  • On Monday, 09 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Eizariya village, east of occupied East Jerusalem.
  •  At approximately 18:30 on Tuesday, 10 November 2020, IOF closed Qalandiya military checkpoint for hours, causing a sever traffic jam.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 05 November  2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at Aqabat Hasnah area leading to villages west of Bethlehem, and near the intersection of al-Nashash area, south of the city.
  • On Friday, 06 November 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints the northern and western entrances to Tuqu village, the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, and in Aqabat Hasnah area leading to villages west of Bethlehem.
  • On Saturday, 07 November 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, and near the intersection of al-Nashash area, south of the city.
  • On Sunday, 08 November 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, the entrances to Husan and Nahalin villages, and in Aqabat Hasnah area leading to villages west of Bethlehem.
  • On Monday, 09 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Tuesday, 10 November 2020, IOF tightened its measures at the Container checkpoint, east of Bethlehem and established 3 checkpoints at the entrances  to Jannatah and Tuqu village, at Aqabat Hasnah area leading to villages west of Bethlehem.

Ramallah:

  • On Friday, 06 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Birzeit village, north of Ramallah.
  • On Saturday, 07 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint under the bridge of ‘Atara village, north of Ramallah.
  • On Sunday, 08 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beitin village, east of Ramallah.
  • On Monday, 09 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Nabi Salih village, northwest of Ramallah.

Tubas:

  • On Sunday 08 November 2020, IOF stationed at “Tayasir” Checkpoint, east of Tubas, north of the West Bank, tightened its military measures, obstructed the traffic movement, and checked civilians’ ID cards.

Jericho:

  • On Saturday, 07 November 2020, IOF established 3checkpoints at the northern entrance to Jericho, southern entrance to Jericho, and the road linking between Jericho and Ramallah.
  • On Sunday, 08 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 05 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beit Furik village, east of Nablus.
  • On Friday, 06 November 2020, IOF tightened its measures at the entrance to Beit Furik villahe, west of Nablus and closed the gate established at the abovementioned entrance and reopened it later.
  • On Monday, 09 November 2020, IOF tightened  its measures at Beit Furik checkpoint, east of Nablus.

Jenin:

  • On Sunday, 08 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ti’inik village.
  •  On Monday, 09 November 2020, IOF tightened its measures at Beit Furik checkpoint, east of Nablus.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 02 November 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the al-Aroub refugee camp, and Surif village.
  • On Friday, 06 November 202, IOF established 4 checkpoints at: Hebron’s southern entrance, Sa’ir, Beit Einun, and Beit Awwa villages.
  • On Saturday, 07 November 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at Kharsa and Beit Awwa villages, Hebron’s southern entrance and Beit Ummar village.
  • On Sunday 08 November 2020, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the western entrance to Hebron, Idhna, Bani Na’im, ad-Dhahiriya, and Beit Kahel villages.
  • On Monday, 09 November 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to  Beit ‘Amra, and Idhna villages.
  • On Wednesday, 11 November 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Fawar refugee camp, Sa’ir, Ash-Shuyukh, and Idhna villages.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 05 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Izbat at-Tabib village, east of Qalqilya.
  • On Friday, 06 November 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Izbat at-Tabib village, Azzun village, and the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.
  • On Sunday, 08 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Jit village, north of Qalqilya.
  •  On Monday, 09 November 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Jit village, north of Qalqilya, eastern entrance to Qalqilya.

Tulkarm:

  • On Saturday, 07 November 2020, IOF tightened its measures at Izbat Shufa checkpoint, south east of Tulkarm .

Salfit:

  • On Thursday, 05 November 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Deir Istiya, Deir Ballut, Hares villages and northern entrance to Salfit.
  • On Saturday, 07 November 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance Deir Istiya village, and the northern entrance to Salfit.
  • On Monday, 09 November 2020, an Israeli force established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Deir Ballut and Kafr ad-Dik villages, west of Salfit.

Israel Holds Body of Cancer-Stricken Palestinian Prisoner

Source

Palestinian activists attend a solidarity conference in Gaza protesting the death of prisoner Kamal Abu Wa’ar. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

November 14, 2020

The Israeli occupation authorities decided to hold the body of a Palestinian prisoner who died in jail last week as a result of medical negligence, according to the Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners’ Affairs Commission.

Kamal Abu Wa’ar, 46, from Qabatiya in the north of the West Bank, died on Tuesday, prompting Palestinian rights organization to accuse the Israeli authorities of neglecting the health of the prisoners and not providing them with the proper medical treatment.

The prisoners’ commission spokesman Hasan Abed Rabbo told WAFA that the Israeli authorities refused a request by its legal team to turn over Abu Waar’s body to his family for a proper burial and they, therefore, are still holding it.

Abed Rabbo said that Abu Waar is the eighth Palestinian prisoner who died while in jail and whose bodies Israel is still holding.

He called on the Red Cross and other international humanitarian organizations to intervene and get Israel to release bodies of dead Palestinian prisoners to be buried by their families.

Israel holds the bodies of Palestinians in order to use them as a bargaining chip in future exchange talks with Palestinian organizations.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Escalating the Demographic War: The Strategic Goal of Israeli Racism in Palestine

November 4, 2020

Racist graffiti on the walls of a Palestinian property in the West Bank. (Photo: via Social Media)

By Ramzy Baroud

The discussion on institutional Israeli racism against its own Palestinian Arab population has all but ceased following the final approval of the discriminatory Nation-State Law in July 2018. Indeed, the latest addition to Israel’s Basic Law is a mere start of a new government-espoused agenda that is designed to further marginalize over a fifth of Israel’s population.

On Wednesday, October 28, eighteen members of the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) conjured up yet another ploy to target Israeli Arab citizens. They proposed a bill that would revoke Israeli citizenship for any Palestinian Arab prisoner in Israel who, directly or indirectly, receives any financial aid from the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Worthy of mention is that these MKs not only represent right-wing, ultra-right and religious parties, but also the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) ‘centrist’ party. Namely, the proposed bill already has the support of Israel’s parliamentary majority.

But is this really about financial aid for prisoners? Particularly since the PA is nearly bankrupt, and its financial contributions to the families of Palestinian prisoners, even within the Occupied Territories – West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza – is symbolic?

Here is an alternative context. On Thursday, October 29, the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, revealed that the Israeli government of right-wing Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, plans to expand the jurisdiction of the Jewish town of Harish in northern Israel by 50 percent. The aim is to prevent Palestinians from becoming the majority in that area.

The contingency plan was formulated by Israel’s Housing Ministry as a swift response to an internal document, which projects that, by the year 2050, Palestinian Arabs will constitute 51 percent of that region’s population of 700,000 residents.

These are just two examples of recent actions taken within two days, damning evidence that, indeed, the Nation-State law was the mere preface of a long period of institutional racism, which ultimately aims at winning a one-sided demographic war that was launched by Israel against the Palestinian people many years ago.

Since outright ethnic cleansing – which Israel practiced during and after the wars of 1948 and 1967 – is not an option, at least not for now, Israel is finding other ways to ensure a Jewish majority in Israel itself, in Jerusalem, in Area C within the occupied West Bank and, by extension, everywhere else in Palestine.

Israeli dissident historian, Professor Ilan Pappe, refers to this as ‘incremental genocide’. This slow-paced ethnic cleansing includes the expansion of the illegal Jewish settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and the proposed annexation of nearly a third of the Occupied Territories.

The besieged Gaza Strip is a different story. Winning a demographic war in a densely populated but small region of two million inhabitants living within 365 sq. km, was never feasible. The so-called ‘redeployment’ out of Gaza by late Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, in 2005 was a strategic decision, which aimed at cutting Israel’s losses in Gaza in favor of expediting the colonization process in the West Bank and the Naqab Desert. Indeed, most of Gaza’s illegal Jewish settlers were eventually relocated to these demographically-contested regions.

But how is Israel to deal with its own Palestinian Arab population, which now constitutes a sizeable demographic minority and an influential, often united, political bloc?

In the Israeli general elections of March 2020, united Arab Palestinian political parties contesting under the umbrella group, The Joint List, achieved their greatest electoral success yet, as they emerged as Israel’s third-largest political party. This success rang alarm bells among Israel’s Jewish ruling elites, leading to the formation of Israel’s current ‘unity government’. Israel’s two major political parties, Likud and Kahol Lavan, made it clear that no Arab parties would be included in any government coalition.

A strong Arab political constituency represents a nightmare scenario for Israel’s government planners, who are obsessed with demographics and the marginalization of Palestinian Arabs in every possible arena. Hence, the very representatives of the Palestinian Arab community in Israel become a target for political repression.

In a report published in September 2019, the rights group, Amnesty International, revealed that “Palestinian members of the Knesset in Israel are increasingly facing discriminatory attacks.”

“Despite being democratically elected like their Jewish Israeli counterparts, Palestinian MKs are the target of deep-rooted discrimination and undue restrictions that hamstring their ability to speak out in defense of the rights of the Palestinian people,” Amnesty stated.

These revelations were communicated by Amnesty just prior to the September 27 elections. The targeting of Palestinian citizens of Israel is reminiscent of similar harassment and targeting of Palestinian officials and parties in the Occupied Territories, especially prior to local or general elections. Namely, Israel views its own Palestinian Arab population through the same prism that it views its militarily occupied Palestinians.

Since its establishment on the ruins of historic Palestine, and until 1979, Israel governed its Palestinian population through the Defense (Emergency) Regulations. The arbitrary legal system imposed numerous restrictions on those Palestinians who were allowed to remain in Israel following the 1948 Nakba, or ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

In practice, however, the emergency rule was lifted in name only. It was merely redefined, and replaced – according to the Israel-based Adalah rights group – by over 65 laws that directly target the Palestinian Arab minority of Israel. The Nation-State Law, which denies Israel’s Arab minority their legal status, therefore, protection under international law, further accentuates Israel’s relentless war on its Arab minority.

Moreover, “the definition of Israel as ‘the Jewish State’ or ‘the State of the Jewish People’ makes inequality a practical, political and ideological reality for Palestinian citizens of Israel,” according to Adalah.

Israeli racism is not random and cannot be simply classified as yet another human rights violation. It is the core of a sophisticated plan that aims at the political marginalization and economic strangulation of Israel’s Palestinian Arab minority within a constitutional, thus ‘legal’, framework.

Without fully appreciating the end goal of this Israeli strategy, Palestinians and their allies will not have the chance to properly combat it, as they certainly should.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

‘Israeli’ Occupation Leaves 41 Children Homeless After Razing Palestinian Village

Israel Demolishes 11 Palestinian Homes in West Bank

November 4, 2020

Palestinian women stand in front of their demolished house, in Jordan Valley. (Photo: via ActiveStills.org)

Israeli military bulldozers yesterday demolished 11 homes in the northeastern part of the occupied West Bank over “lack of construction permits”.

Moataz Bisharat, a Palestinian official responsible for monitoring Israeli settlement activity in the Jordan Valley, told Anadolu Agency that an Israeli force had raided “the Hamsa bedouin community in the east of Tubas town, and demolished Palestinian homes there.

Bisharat added that the community was inhabited by “23 Palestinian families living in corrugated iron houses.”

The head of the Ibziq village council in the Jordan Valley region, Abdul Majeed Khdeirat, told the agency that the Israeli army had seized agricultural tractors, solar cells, and water tanks from the village.

Palestinian residents in the Jordan Valley region are continuously subjected to the demolition of their homes, and seizure of their property by the Israeli army. The 1.6 million dunam region currently accommodates around 13,000 Israeli settlers in 38 illegal settlements, and some 65,000 Palestinians scattered across 34 communities.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

After Razing The Village

By Staff, Agencies

Zionist forces in the occupied West Bank have razed a Palestinian village, leaving 73 people – including 41 children – homeless, in the largest forced displacement incident for years, the United Nations warned.

Excavators escorted by military vehicles were filmed approaching Khirbet Humsa and proceeding to flatten or smash up tents, shacks, animal shelters, toilets and solar panels.

“These are some of the most vulnerable communities in the West Bank,” said Yvonne Helle, the UN humanitarian coordinator for the ‘Israeli’-occupied Palestinian territory.

Three-quarters of the community lost their shelters during Tuesday’s attack, she said, making it the largest forced displacement incident in more than four years. However, by the number of destroyed structures, 76, the raid was the largest demolition in the past decade, she added.

On Wednesday, families from the village were seen rifling through their wrecked belongings in the wind, with some of the first rain of the year arriving the same day. The UN published a photo of a bed and a cot in the open desert.

The village is one of several Bedouin and sheepherding communities in the Jordan Valley area that is located within Zionist-declared army training “firing zones” where people there often face demolitions for a building without an alleged ‘permission’ from the occupying regime.

“Palestinians can almost never obtain such permits,” said Helle. “Demolitions are a key means of creating an environment designed to coerce Palestinians to leave their homes,” she said, accusing the Zionist entity of “grave breaches” of international law.

Nearly 700 structures have been demolished across the West Bank and occupied al-Quds in 2020 so far, she said, more than any year since 2016, leaving 869 Palestinians homeless.

In Memory of Robert Fisk: “The Forgotten Massacre” – Reposted

In Memory of Robert Fisk: “The Forgotten Massacre” – Reposted

By Staff

In memory of Robert Fisk, a journalist who was “renowned for his courage in questioning official narratives” and publishing “frequently brilliant prose”.

During his decades-long career, Fisk covered key international events including the Lebanese civil war, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iranian revolution, Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, conflicts in the Balkans and the Arab Spring.

Fisk was particularly renowned for his war reporting.

The Forgotten Massacre

Robert Fisk, Sunday 15 September 2013

The memories remain, of course. The man who lost his family in an earlier massacre, only to watch the young men of Chatila lined up after the new killings and marched off to death. But – like the muck piled on the garbage tip amid the concrete hovels – the stench of injustice still pervades the camps where 1,700 Palestinians were butchered 30 years ago next week. No-one was tried and sentenced for a slaughter, which even an “Israeli” writer at the time compared to the killing of Yugoslavs by Nazi sympathizers in the Second World War. Sabra and Chatila are a memorial to criminals who evaded responsibility, who got away with it.

Khaled Abu Noor was in his teens, a would-be militiaman who had left the camp for the mountains before “Israel’s” Phalangist allies entered Sabra and Chatila. Did this give him a guilty conscience, that he was not there to fight the rapists and murderers? “What we all feel today is depression,” he said. “We demanded justice, international trials – but there was nothing. Not a single person was held responsible. No-one was put before justice. And so we had to suffer in the 1986 camps war [at the hands of Shia Lebanese] and so the “Israelis” could slaughter so many Palestinians in the 2008-9 Gaza war. If there had been trials for what happened here 30 years ago, the Gaza killings would not have happened.”

He has a point, of course. While presidents and prime ministers have lined up in Manhattan to mourn the dead of the 2001 international crimes against humanity at the World Trade Centre, not a single Western leader has dared to visit the dank and grubby Sabra and Chatila mass graves, shaded by a few scruffy trees and faded photographs of the dead. Nor, let it be said – in 30 years – has a single Arab leader bothered to visit the last resting place of at least 600 of the 1,700 victims. Arab potentates bleed in their hearts for the Palestinians but an airfare to Beirut might be a bit much these days – and which of them would want to offend the “Israelis” or the Americans?

It is an irony – but an important one, nonetheless – that the only nation to hold a serious official enquiry into the massacre, albeit flawed, was “Israel”. The “Israeli” army sent the killers into the camps and then watched – and did nothing – while the atrocity took place. A certain “Israeli” Lieutenant Avi Grabowsky gave the most telling evidence of this. The Kahan Commission held the then “defense” minister Ariel Sharon personally responsible, since he sent the ruthless anti-Palestinian Phalangists into the camps to “flush out terrorists” – “terrorists” who turned out to be as non-existent as Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction 21 years later.

Sharon lost his job but later became prime minister, until broken by a stroke which he survived – but which took from him even the power of speech. Elie Hobeika, the Lebanese Christian militia leader who led his murderers into the camp – after Sharon had told the Phalange that Palestinians had just assassinated their leader, Bashir Gemayel – was murdered years later in east Beirut. His enemies claimed the Syrians killed him, his friends blamed the “Israelis”; Hobeika, who had “gone across” to the Syrians, had just announced he would “tell all” about the Sabra and Chatila atrocity at a Belgian court, which wished to try Sharon.

Of course, those of us who entered the camps on the third and final day of the massacre – 18 September, 1982 – have our own memories. I recall the old man in pajamas lying on his back on the main street with his innocent walking stick beside him, the two women and a baby shot next to a dead horse, the private house in which I sheltered from the killers with my colleague Loren Jenkins of The Washington Post – only to find a dead young woman lying in the courtyard beside us. Some of the women had been raped before their killing. The armies of flies, the smell of decomposition. These things one remembers.

Abu Maher is 65 – like Khaled Abu Noor, his family originally fled their homes in Safad in present-day “Israel” – and stayed in the camp throughout the massacre, at first disbelieving the women and children who urged him to run from his home. “A woman neighbor started screaming and I looked out and saw her shot dead and her daughter tried to run away and the killers chased her, saying “Kill her, kill her, don’t let her go!” She shouted to me and I could do nothing. But she escaped.”

Repeated trips back to the camp, year after year, have built up a narrative of astonishing detail. Investigations by Karsten Tveit of Norwegian radio and myself proved that many men, seen by Abu Maher being marched away alive after the initial massacre, were later handed by the “Israelis” back to the Phalangist killers – who held them prisoner for days in eastern Beirut and then, when they could not swap them for Christian hostages, executed them at mass graves.

And the arguments in favor of forgetfulness have been cruelly deployed. Why remember a few hundred Palestinians slaughtered when 25,000 have been killed in Syria in 19 months?

Supporters of “Israel” and critics of the Muslim world have written to me in the last couple of years, abusing me for referring repeatedly to the Sabra and Chatila massacre, as if my own eye-witness account of this atrocity has – like a war criminal – a statute of limitations. Given these reports of mine [compared to my accounts of Turkish oppression] one reader has written to me that “I would conclude that, in this case [Sabra and Chatila], you have an anti-“Israeli” bias. This is based solely on the disproportionate number of references you make to this atrocity…”

But can one make too many? Dr. Bayan al-Hout, widow of the PLO’s former ambassador to Beirut, has written the most authoritative and detailed account of the Sabra and Chatila war crimes – for that is what they were – and concludes that in the years that followed, people feared to recall the event. “Then international groups started talking and enquiring. We must remember that all of us are responsible for what happened. And the victims are still scarred by these events – even those who are unborn will be scarred – and they need love.” In the conclusion to her book, Dr. al-Hout asks some difficult – indeed, dangerous – questions: “Were the perpetrators the only ones responsible? Were the people who committed the crimes the only criminals? Were even those who issued the orders solely responsible? Who in truth is responsible?”

In other words, doesn’t Lebanon bear responsibility with the Phalangist Lebanese, “Israel” with the “Israeli” army, the West with its “Israeli” ally, the Arabs with their American ally? Dr al-Hout ends her investigation with a quotation from Rabbi Abraham Heschel who raged against the Vietnam war. “In a free society,” the Rabbi said, “some are guilty, but all are responsible”.

Related

Israel Calls for Banning Film Documenting Its Crimes in Jenin (VIDEO)

October 28, 2020

Jenin, Jenin is a film directed by Mohammed Bakri documenting Israel’s siege on the occupied Palestinian West Bank city of Jenin in 2002. (Photo: File)

An Israeli Knesset committee has called for banning a film documenting Israel’s siege on the occupied Palestinian West Bank city of Jenin in 2002 and the crimes carried out against its residents, Quds Press reported yesterday.

The Foreign and Security Committee at the Israeli Knesset submitted a draft resolution that will be raised to the government’s Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, demanding a ban on the film ‘Jenin, Jenin’.

The film was produced by the Palestinian-Israeli producer Mohammad Bakeri. It documents the Israeli crimes during the invasion of the Palestinian city through accounts by eyewitnesses.

The Knesset committee claimed that the film distorts the image of Israeli soldiers and stressed it should not be displayed.

The film has been beset with legal action since it was first aired 18 years ago. In 2003, Israel’s film rating board claimed that it was a “distorted presentation of events in the guise of democratic truth which could mislead the public.”

It judged the documentary to be a “one-sided propaganda film” and claimed that the public could be misled into thinking that Israeli soldiers had committed war crimes.

The director protested against these claims saying:


“It is a real shame for me because it shows that democracy in Israel is not reserved for all of its citizens… This is a clear political game that the Likud doesn’t want people to see the movie.”

However, the Israeli Supreme Court argued that the film rating board’s decision was an “exaggerated attack on freedom of expression” and ordered the ban to be lifted.

According to Quds Press, during the Israeli incursion of the city, Israeli soldiers “executed” 58 Palestinians, wounded hundreds of others, demolished 1,200 homes, including 450 which were completely demolished.

The Israeli occupation also arrested hundreds of Palestinians and several reportedly disappeared, while the Israeli occupation forces lost 23 soldiers during the siege.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Israel Bombs an Elementary School in Quneitra Southwest of Syria

October 21, 2020 Arabi Souri

Israel bombed a school in Quneitra southwest of Syria

Israel bombed an elementary school with a missile shortly after midnight in the village of Hurriyah in the northern countryside of Quneitra Province, southwest of Syria.

The school has six classes for elementary learning and all the school’s windows and doors were broken in this bombing, the Syrian Ministry of Edcuation dispatched its maintenance teams to estimate the damage and removing the rubble and the repairs started immediately.

At 12:05 after midnight the Israeli IDF launched a missile at the school which caused material damage with no given reason and in breach of Syrian sovereignty, the international law, the UN charter, and the 1974 truce and under the watching eyes of the useless United Nations UNDOF observers.

Embattled Israeli PM Netanyahu needs an escape from the pressing protests against him by the foreign imported settlers and land thieves in occupied Palestine, just how corrupt he is that land thieves protest against his corruption!

Israel bombed an elementary school in Quneitra sothwest of Syria

Israel also needs the US cannon fodders to be involved in any war it might starts because it can surely start it but wouldn’t be able to handle it, especially not after the the year 2000 when the Lebanese Hezb Allah forced it out of southern Lebanon and later in 2006 when the same party brought it to the point of begging for a ceasefire from the USA and Qatar. Trump needs to withdraw his forces from West Asia before end of year standing, otherwise they’ll return laying in coffins as Iran and the Iraqi PMU vowed to force them out after Trump killed the Iranian General Qasim Soleimani and the Iraqi PMU Top Commander Abu Mahdi Muhandis.

The latest cross-border bombing of a school from the Syrian occupied Golan might be testing fire or just a message that Israel still has an army that can come out of their bunkers they’re hiding in since August when they killed a soldier of Hezb Allah near Damascus, and the Party’s chief vowed to kill an Israeli IDF soldier in response.

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Israeli Security Forces Kill Palestinians with Impunity

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Since stealing 78% of Occupied Palestine in 1948, the rest in 1967, Israeli soldiers and police have systematically killed and terrorized defenseless Palestinians with impunity.

The Jewish state gets away with murder and much more because the world community fails to hold it accountable.

Notably the US and other Western countries turn a blind eye to its high crimes of war, against humanity, and daily apartheid persecution of a long-suffering people – illegally blockaded Gazans harmed most since 2007.

Law Professor Francis Boyle earlier accused Israel of “heinous war crimes inflicted every day…against the Palestinian people,” including “willful killing” and state terror.

The late Law Professor Michael Mandel called illegal Israeli settlements “war crimes,” citing the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Geneva Conventions, along with other international and Canadian law.

On October 1, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel highlighted the disturbing reality for long-suffering Palestinians under apartheid occupation, saying the following:

“Israel’s perception of Palestinian citizens as (the Jewish state’s) ‘enemy’ continues to grant blanket impunity to police for killings.

The 10 commandments and hundreds of others fundamentalist Jews believe were given to their people by the almighty apply only to others of the faith, no one else — including No 6: Thou shalt not kill.

In October 2000, Israeli police killed 13 Palestinians who were nonviolently protesting for rights denied them.

All but one were Israeli citizens, the other a Gaza resident.

The killings Israel calls the “October 2000 events” followed Likud-leader Ariel Sharon’s provocative, heavily guarded, visit to the Haram al-Sharif, Islam’s third holiest site – sparking the Second Intifada.

The horrific five-year toll included:

• 4,166 Palestinian deaths, including 886 children and 271 women;

• 554 extrajudicial assassinations, including 253 peaceful bystanders;

• 3,530 Palestinians disabled or maimed;

• 8,600 imprisoned, including 288 children and 115 women;

• 576 students killed, including 199 university-level ones and 32 teachers;

• another 4,713 students injured and 1,389 detained;

• 2,329,659 dunums of confiscated Palestinian land;

• another 73,613 dunums of razed land plus 1,355,290 uprooted trees; and

• 7,761 demolished homes and another 93,842 damaged.

All of the above are unpunished high crimes of war and against humanity — an apartheid Israel speciality.

Established to investigate what happened in October 2000, Israel’s Or Commission found no justification for the killings that sparked all of the above.

Nothing warranted lethal and related violence against nonthreatening Palestinians.

To this day, no Israeli police officer or anyone more senior was held accountable for cold-blooded murder.

At the time, “(a)bout 660 Palestinian citizens of Israel were arrested in connection with these events, and hundreds, including scores of minors, were indicted and detained without bond until the end of trial,” Adalah explained.

In September 2005, Israeli police formally declined to hold officers in its ranks accountable for butchery.

In January 2007, Israel’s attorney general closed the case.

“Adalah has continued to demand justice and accountability for the Palestinians killed and for their families, including the punishment of those responsible,” it said, adding: 

“Adalah has also continued to confront the Israeli police and Mahash for their brutality and unaccountability towards Palestinian citizens of Israel, while calling for adherence to the Or Commission’s recommendations.”

For over 72 years and events preceding them, Israeli security forces have terrorized, brutalized and massacred defenseless Palestinians for crime of being Arabs in a Jewish state — their mark of Cain.

“This is How Armed Gangs Operate” Israel Admits its Troops Planted IEDs in a Palestinian Town

Israel Palestinians

By Alan Macleod

Source

The IDF admitted that they put the explosives on the commonly used road, doing it to “create a deterrence,” because “riots have regularly occurred” in the area.

A seven-year-old Palestinian boy was walking with his mother just outside the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum a few miles to west of the city of Nablus. Seeing a strange orange and black package held down with some rocks, the boy approached, thinking it was a toy. His mother quickly stopped him, summoning a relative to investigate. Foolishly, the man shook the package and it exploded, injuring his face and hands.

Along the popular path they found another device, this time photographing it and throwing stones at it until it too exploded.

That device was housed in a metal box used by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to store grenades, Israeli outlet Haaretz reports. That evening, after the images had caused outrage on social media, Israeli military units came and neutralized a third IED they had left on the path.

IDF sources freely admitted that they put the explosives on the commonly used road, doing it to “create a deterrence,” because “riots have regularly occurred” in the area. Kafr Qaddum is known as a hotbed of protest against the Israeli occupation, suggesting this was done in response to their activism. Warning signs, written in Hebrew only, were found close to the IEDs. “People live there, and children wander around,” said the injured man, “it’s lucky nothing worse happened.”

“Even in a place where revenge operations by soldiers have already become routine, soldiers planting improvised explosive devices is exceptional, and it’s pure luck that it didn’t cause far worse injuries,” Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said.

This is how armed gangs operate, not a regular army. But the action reflects the spirit of the army’s commanders and the government, both of which send the message that Palestinian lives and limbs are fair game.”

“When this story came to me I did not believe it was true. But it is,” said Haaretz’s Hagar Shezaf, who covered the story. Yet despite the fact that she obtained confessions from IDF sources, she entertained the idea that the whole thing was a Palestinian false flag operation.

Needless to say, placing explosive devices in civilian areas is a serious war crime. However, compared to the weeks-long bombing campaign against Gaza it is currently undertaking, planting some IEDs is perhaps a minor incident. Western media have shown little interest in covering the campaign, reflexively taking the Israeli side when doing so. Indeed, Canadian broadcaster CBC issued a public apology for using the word “Palestine” on air during an interview.

The humanitarian fallout from the bombing is likely worse than the bombing itself. The only power plant in Gaza has been forced out of action, and Israel is limiting the area to only three to four hours of electricity per day by restricting fuel imports. Oxfam warns that the conditions are likely to spark a COVID-19 epidemic that authorities will not be able to handle. Gaza has only 97 intensive care hospital beds, and people’s access to clean water has shrunk from 80 to 20 liters per day. “People are forced to choose between hygiene and food,” explained Shane Stevenson, Oxfam’s country director for Israel and Palestine.

Malnutrition has also reached the point of crisis, with one third of Palestine (and over two-thirds of Gazans) food insecure, according to the World Food Program, who found that nearly eight percent of Palestinian children under the age of five showed moderate to severe signs of stunted growth.

The United States holds a huge amount of influence in the region. However, both political parties appear steadfast in their support for Israeli actions. Trump has emboldened Netanyahu to announce the annexation of much of the fertile Jordan Valley, while the Democratic ticket seems eager to outdo the president. “I pledge to you the Biden-Harris administration will sustain our unbreakable commitment to Israel’s security, including the unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation pioneered during the Obama-Biden administration and the guarantee that Israel will always maintain its qualitative military edge,” Harris said at a fundraiser on Wednesday.

On the subject of the IEDs, Haaretz was concerned enough to print an editorial. “This phenomenon must be shut down and those responsible punished. The IDF must make sure there are no more such devices in the area, and that there are no other locations where orange boxes await curious children or their parents,” they wrote. Whether the IDF heed their words remains to be seen.

How Israel Wages War on Palestinian History

By Jonathan Cook

Source

Jenin camp c2642

When the Palestinian actor Mohammed Bakri made a documentary about Jenin in 2002 – filming immediately after the Israeli army had completed rampaging through the West Bank city, leaving death and destruction in its wake – he chose an unusual narrator for the opening scene: a mute Palestinian youth.

Jenin had been sealed off from the world for nearly three weeks as the Israeli army razed the neighbouring refugee camp and terrorised its population.

Bakri’s film Jenin, Jenin shows the young man hurrying silently between wrecked buildings, using his nervous body to illustrate where Israeli soldiers shot Palestinians and where bulldozers collapsed homes, sometimes on their inhabitants.

It was not hard to infer Bakri’s larger meaning: when it comes to their own story, Palestinians are denied a voice. They are silent witnesses to their own and their people’s suffering and abuse.

The irony is that Bakri has faced just such a fate himself since Jenin, Jenin was released 18 years ago. Today, little is remembered of his film, or the shocking crimes it recorded, except for the endless legal battles to keep it off screens.

Bakri has been tied up in Israel’s courts ever since, accused of defaming the soldiers who carried out the attack. He has paid a high personal price. Deaths threats, loss of work and endless legal bills that have near-bankrupted him. A verdict in the latest suit against him – this time backed by the Israeli attorney general – is expected in the next few weeks.

Bakri is a particularly prominent victim of Israel’s long-running war on Palestinian history. But there are innumerable other examples.

For decades many hundreds of Palestinian residents in the southern West Bank have been fighting their expulsion as Israeli officials characterise them as “squatters”. According to Israel, the Palestinians are nomads who recklessly built homes on land they seized inside an army firing zone.

The villagers’ counter-claims were ignored until the truth was unearthed recently in Israel’s archives.

These Palestinian communities are, in fact, marked on maps predating Israel. Official Israeli documents presented in court last month show that Ariel Sharon, a general-turned-politician, devised a policy of establishing firing zones in the occupied territories to justify mass evictions of Palestinians like these communities in the Hebron Hills.

The residents are fortunate that their claims have been officially verified, even if they still depend on uncertain justice from an Israeli occupiers’ court.

Israel’s archives are being hurriedly sealed up precisely to prevent any danger that records might confirm long-sidelined and discounted Palestinian history.

Last month Israel’s state comptroller, a watchdog body, revealed that more than one million archived documents were still inaccessible, even though they had passed their declassification date. Nonetheless, some have slipped through the net.

The archives have, for example, confirmed some of the large-scale massacres of Palestinian civilians carried out in 1948 – the year Israel was established by dispossessing Palestinians of their homeland.

In one such massacre at Dawaymeh, near where Palestinians are today fighting against their expulsion from the firing zone, hundreds were executed, even as they offered no resistance, to encourage the wider population to flee.

Other files have corroborated Palestinian claims that Israel destroyed more than 500 Palestinian villages during a wave of mass expulsions that same year to dissuade the refugees from trying to return.

Official documents have disproved, too, Israel’s claim that it pleaded with the 750,000 Palestinian refugees to return home. In fact, as the archives reveal, Israel obscured its role in the ethnic cleansing of 1948 by inventing a cover story that it was Arab leaders who commanded Palestinians to leave.

The battle to eradicate Palestinian history does not just take place in the courts and archives. It begins in Israeli schools.

A new study by Avner Ben-Amos, a history professor at Tel Aviv University, shows that Israeli pupils learn almost nothing truthful about the occupation, even though many will soon enforce it as soldiers in a supposedly “moral” army that rules over Palestinians.

Maps in geography textbooks strip out the so-called “Green Line” – the borders demarcating the occupied territories – to present a Greater Israel long desired by the settlers. History and civics classes evade all discussion of the occupation, human rights violations, the role of international law, or apartheid-like local laws that treat Palestinians differently from Jewish settlers living illegally next door.

Instead, the West Bank is known by the Biblical names of “Judea and Samaria”, and its occupation in 1967 is referred to as a “liberation”.

Sadly, Israel’s erasure of Palestinians and their history is echoed outside by digital behemoths such as Google and Apple.

Palestinian solidarity activists have spent years battling to get both platforms to include hundreds of Palestinian communities in the West Bank missed off their maps, under the hashtag #HeresMyVillage. Illegal Jewish settlements, meanwhile, are prioritised on these digital maps.

Another campaign, #ShowTheWall, has lobbied the tech giants to mark on their maps the path of Israel’s 700-kilometre-long steel and concrete barrier, effectively used by Israel to annex occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law.

And last month Palestinian groups launched yet another campaign, #GoogleMapsPalestine, demanding that the occupied territories be labelled “Palestine”, not just the West Bank and Gaza. The UN recognised the state of Palestine back in 2012, but Google and Apple refused to follow suit.

Palestinians rightly argue that these firms are replicating the kind of disappearance of Palestinians familiar from Israeli textbooks, and that they uphold “mapping segregation” that mirrors Israel’s apartheid laws in the occupied territories.

Today’s crimes of occupation – house demolitions, arrests of activists and children, violence from soldiers, and settlement expansion – are being documented by Israel, just as its earlier crimes were.

Future historians may one day unearth those papers from the Israeli archives and learn the truth. Those Israeli policies were not driven, as Israel claims now, by security concerns, but by a colonial desire to destroy Palestinian society and pressure Palestinians to leave their homeland, to be replaced by Jews.

The lessons for future researchers will be no different from the lessons learnt by their predecessors, who discovered the 1948 documents.

But in truth, we do not need to wait all those years hence. We can understand what is happening to Palestinians right now – simply by refusing to conspire in their silencing. It is time to listen.

How the UK Government Provides Cover for Israel’s Crimes

By Stuart Littlewood

Source

 

Boris and Bibi 5eb6a

MP Alister Jack has finally replied to my question asking where he and the UK government stand on the threat by Israel to annex more Palestinian territory known as the West Bank. It seems the Government has urged them not to do it.

I doubt if his letter reproduced here, is his own work. It is sprinkled with the humbug and deceit repeated for decades by Tory and Labour governments and was likely penned at least 20 years ago by a Foreign Office scribbler vaccinated with an Israeli embassy gramophone needle. It is still used as a reply template by MPs and ministers who dare not speak their own minds or are plain clueless.

MP Jack letter p1 30c70

MP Jack letter p2 7a38b

As usual, Her Majesty’s Government wants “a safe and secure Israel” but only “a viable and sovereign Palestinian state”. What a deplorable statement. Viable means workable in the most meagre sense. And when it comes to safety and security why can’t Mr. Jack be evenhanded? His words (if they are indeed his) express clear racial prejudice favouring the wellbeing and prosperity of one people at the expense of another which, I’d have thought, deserves a sharp rap on the knuckles.

He says there can be no changes to the status quo without a negotiated agreement between the parties. Mr Jack is surely aware that the status quo is itself illegal and breaches umpteen UN resolutions. And why does he feel the Palestinians must ‘negotiate’ their freedom? Picture the scene with the invader holding a gun to the head of the victim whose land the invader has occupied under brutal military control and in defiance of international law for 70+ years. Why is Mr Jack joining his colleagues in calling for more lopsided negotiations instead of pushing for law and justice?

‘Nothing shall be done to prejudice the rights of non-Jewish communities….’ Sorry, forget that.

So many experts are saying that a negotiated two-state solution is impossible. Does anyone seriously think the Israelis will voluntarily give up their ill-gotten territorial gains which are crucial to their Greater Israel dream? The only peaceable way to change their mind is through the persuasive power of BDS and other sanctions. For that reason BDS is under relentless Zionist attack and is fiercely opposed by the servile UK Government. The reason why the West endlessly woffles about ‘negotiations’ is their cowardly failure ever since 1948 to confront Israel’s greedy ambition for expansion and domination. That inconvenient bit in Britain’s 1917 pledge to Rothschild and the Zionist Federation about “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” is best forgotten. It’s so much easier for the UK Government to say and do nothing while their Zionist ‘friends’ surreptitiously complete their programme of creeping annexation. And never mind the 70+ years of grief this has caused innocent Palestinians.

Mr Jack refers to Boris Johnson’s article in Yedioth Ahronoth which appeared on the very day Netanyahu was supposed to be carrying out his crazed threat. “Annexation would represent a violation of international law…. I profoundly hope that annexation does not go ahead,” he wrote. “If it does, the UK will not recognize any changes to the 1967 lines, except those agreed between both parties.” But Israel has repeatedly violated international law and repeatedly been rewarded, so why should it care what the UK thinks about boundary changes? They have been changing all the time. Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem (including the Old City) in 1967 was a flagrant breach of international law, and what did the UK or anyone else do about it? “I want to see an outcome that delivers justice for both Israelis and Palestinians,” says Johnson absurdly. He has no interest in justice otherwise he’d be leading the charge for implementing international law and UN resolutions which have already ruled on the issue.

As for Israel’s annexation misfire, it looks like world hostility gave Netanyahu cold feet and he and Trump cast around in desperation for a face-saver. They found it the United Arab Emirates’ ‘MBZ’ with whom they cobbled a deal for full diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE provided Israel suspended annexation, and this is touted as a triumph. No-one of course insisted on actually abandoning annexation and you can bet the piecemeal ethnic cleansing, destruction of Palestinian homes and confiscation of their lands will continue unabated.

Mr. Jack then says he’s proud that the UK supports UNRWA and is providing £34.5 million funding this year.  If the Palestinians were allowed their universal right to freedom of movement and self-determination in their homeland there’d be no need to keep throwing our tax money at agencies like UNRWA. It’s scandalous that money for our own schools and hospitals has been diverted to subsidise Israel’s long-running programme of thieving, collective punishment, dispossession and the trashing of the Palestinian economy.

Mr Jack goes on to say: “The UK’s position on Israeli settlements is clear.” Well no, it isn’t. They are illegal and even constitute a war crime yet the UK Government doesn’t mind if companies or individuals profiteer from using and endorsing those squats to the detriment of the Palestinians. And he seems to agree with his government’s opposition to the UN’s business and human rights database. Back in March 2016, UN Human Rights Council resolution 31/36 mandated the High Commissioner’s Office to produce a database of all businesses engaged in activities related to Israel’s settlement enterprise and having implications for the rights of the Palestinian people. Fair enough, you might think. But a year ago 103 local, regional and international organizations felt it necessary to call on the High Commissioner to release the Database expressing deep concern that the document and names of the companies facilitating the settlement programme had been withheld from circulation for 3 years due to political pressure. In the meantime the Israeli government had escalated the construction of new squats and broadcast its intention to formally annex parts of the West Bank in further violation of international law.

“The Database will bring an important degree of transparency on the activities of businesses which contravene rules and principles of international humanitarian and human rights law as a result of their operations in or with illegal Israeli settlements,” they said.

Amnesty International commented: “Naming the businesses which profit in the context of this illegal situation sends a clear message from the international community that settlements must never be normalized. These companies are profiting from and contributing to systematic violations against Palestinians.”

And Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights said: “The UK Government abstained on the vote of this Human Rights Council resolution in March 2016…. It was the only state to declare that the database was ‘inappropriate’ and that ‘it would not co-operate in the process’ of its implementation.” LPHR felt that the reasons given for the Government’s position “did not individually or cumulatively amount to an adequate basis for justifiably opposing the UN Database”. One such reason was that the UK Government thought the Human Rights Council should focus on states rather than private companies. LPHR says this contradicts the UK’s earlier agreement, along with the rest of the international community, that companies as well as states have vital responsibilities in protecting and advancing respect for human rights.

I won’t trouble Mr Jack for an explanation for all this. It’s enough that voters and campaigners are aware of the skullduggery.

‘We won’t reveal our response, let Israel speculate’: Hezbollah’s No. 2

Source

‘We won’t reveal our response, let Israel speculate’: Hezbollah’s No. 2
http://middleeastobserver.net/we-wont-reveal-our-response-let-israel-speculate-hezbollahs-no-2/

Description:

In an interview with Al Mayadeen TV, Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General, Sheikh Naaim Qassem said that his group has decided that at this moment, the Lebanese group will not reveal what it will do exactly in response to the killing of one of its men in an Israeli airstrike on Damascus in recent days.

‘The Israelis can (understand) and calculate from (this stance) what they wish’, Qaasem added.

Hezbollah’s deputy leader also strongly condemned the America military’s recent interception of a civilian Iranian passenger plane carrying Lebanese passengers, which led to the serious injury of many of them.

Qassem said that this was ‘American state terrorism’ that runs contrary to international law and human rights charters.

The Americans sought with this crime to announce their military presence in Syria, and to send the message that there will not be a solution to the conflict in the Arab country (any time soon), Qaasem added.

Source: Al Mayadeen TV (YouTube)

Date: 26 July, 2020

(Important note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here)

Transcript:

Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General, Sheikh Naeem Qaasem:

(In response to Israeli killing of Hezbollah member in Syria)

What occurred in Syria is an aggression that led to the martyrdom of the mujahid Ali Kamil Mohsen. We have surely studied this issue, and we decided that we will not announce what we will do (exactly in response). The Israelis can (understand) and calculate from (this stance) what they wish. For this reason, at this moment, there is no answer to this question (of our exact response and its timing), while (we) await the coming days.


Host: Period?


Sheikh Qaasem: Period.


Host:

Your eminence Sheikh (Qaasem), regarding the rules of engagement that you have delineated, and which have been specified by the Secretary General of Hezbollah, his eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah i.e. ‘any (Israeli) targeting of (any) one of our cadres in Syria, leading to his martyrdom, will incur a direct response’. This is the rule of engagement (with Israel). Are you committed to this rule?


Sheikh Qaasem:

I will not reply to this question in an indirect way. However, there is something clear to all: that (this) rule of engagement with Israel still stands. Subsequently, we have no intention of altering or changing this rule of engagement, no matter how much Israel tries to change it.

This is based on the fact that Lebanon cannot be protected from Israeli aggression except via the rules of engagement that (Hezbollah) has established after the year 2006. What safeguarded Lebanon for these past 14 years is the existence of a deterrence, the (serious) nature of which the Israelis know very well, and the Israelis also know very well that Lebanon is not a forsaken land, and that they cannot do with it whatever they please.

If here we are talking about the rules of engagement, then (I can confirm) that there are no changes in the rules of engagement.


Host: Absolutely no change…


Sheikh Qaasem:

As for the incident (targeting our cadre in Syria) itself, there is no (explicit) answer (at this moment), and what we will do may appear at the appropriate time.

(US military’s interception of Iranian civilian passenger plane)

Sheikh Qaasem:

The Lebanese government must express its opinion on this issue, and to announce its stance towards this incident, because the plane was holding Lebanese (citizens), and the plane reached Beirut airport. This means that (the Lebanese government) is directly concerned with this issue.

I do not know if at the next meeting of government ministers they will come out with a stance, yet we as Hezbollah have announced our stance, and we said clearly that this is a terrorist act, and this is American state terrorism that is reoccurring in various forms.

Is it conceivable that a civilian plane is attacked by two warplanes, as the civilian plane is running its normal course from Tehran to Beirut? This act runs contrary to international law, human rights charters, and all standards.

What I understood is that the Iranian officials intend to submit a complaint on the international level via the United Nations Security Council and these known channels. We (as Hezbollah) issued the required stance.

Yes, it is required that the entire international community, and that all forces – including the Lebanese government – at the very least express their objection to this act, based on the principle that such (sovereign and civilian) cannot be the place for sending (political and military) messages, nor for carrying out aggression. Whoever wishes to settle scores can go carry out attacks on (military-related) personnel and we will then see the result.

Host:

Do you have an idea regarding the motives of the Americans for carrying out such an action?

Sheikh Qaasem:

I don’t have detailed information, it has not become available to us as yet. It is clear that the Americans wish to say that ‘we are here, in the Tanaf region of Syria’, and they are imposing a type of (military) control to imply that in Syria there will be no solution; they will not allow the solution to arise. They have carved out an area of the land and imposed a no-fly-zone to protect and reassure Israel in actual fact. It is also aimed at giving the ability and safe zones for forces who attacked and ruined Syria, just like the other safe zones in Idlib and the north (of Syria) that are sponsored by America in various ways.

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Sheikh Qassem ٍSays Won’t Clarify Nature of Hezbollah Response to Zionist Strike on Syria: Let the Israelis Have Their Own Estimations

July 27, 2020

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General, Sheikh Naim Qassem

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stressed that the Resistance will not allow the Israeli enemy to change the rules of engagement, reiterating its capability to confront any Zionist war.

“Israel’s political confusion and low expectation from war outcomes as well as the US President Donald Trump’s quagmire eliminate the possibility of an imminent eruption of the war.”

In an interview with Al-Mayadeen News Channel Sunday night, Sheikh Qassem pointed out that what happened in Syria was an Israeli attack which claimed the martyr Ali Kamel Mohsen, rejecting to clarify the nature of Hezbollah response to this assault.

Let the Israelis have their own estimations and calculations in this regard, according to Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General who added that the Resistance response to any Zionist war will employ military capabilities much more developed than those it used during 2006 War.

Commenting on the US interception of the Iranian passenger plane in the Syrian airspace, Sheikh Qassem emphasized that the Americans want to frustrate and deactivate the strategic pact between Iran and Syria.

“Absence of US strategic project in the Middle East will allow the axis of resistance to achieve more victories.”

Sheikh Qassem indicated that the major countries do not want to help Lebanon financially in order to impose on it to play a role that serves the ISraeli interests in the region.

Hezbollah seeks Lebanon’s strength and independence, Sheikh Qassem said, adding that the party’s popularity, not military power, enabled it to be represented effectively in the parliament and the government.

Sheikh Qassem indicated that Turkey is trying to establish a political influence in northern Lebanon through supporting certain figures, like Ashraf Rifi and Nabil Al-Halabi.

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Iran executes former Defense Ministry official for allegedly spying for CIA

Source

By News Desk -2020-07-15

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:30 P.M.) – Tehran has executed a former Iranian Defence Ministry official over charges of alleged espionage for the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaeili said on Tuesday.

The sentence against Reza Asgari, a retired employee of the ministry’s aerospace sector, was carried out last week, Esmaeili said, as quoted by the Mizan Online news agency, which covers judicial affairs. While supposedly working for the CIA, Asgari had handed over information about Iranian missiles.

The death sentence against Mahmoud Mousavi Majd, accused of transferring information about Iran’s military commander Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike in Iraq on 3 January, has not yet been enforced, according to the spokesman.

Alongside these two defendants, a further three people have been sentenced to death in relation to unrest endured in November 2019, Esmaeili said.

Following these events, the US State Department said that more than a thousand people died in the riots, however, Tehran refuted these claims and said after six months that the number of casualties was over 220.

According to President Hassan Rouhani, the demonstrations were organised by the US and Israel to undermine Iran’s national security.

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On Israel’s Bizarre Definitions: The West Bank is Already Annexed

By Ramzy Baroud

Source

The truth is that Israel rarely behaves as an ‘Occupying Power’, but as a sovereign in a country where racial discrimination and apartheid are not only tolerated or acceptable but are, in fact, ‘legal’ as well.

Wednesday, July 1, was meant to be the day on which the Israeli government officially annexed 30% of the occupied Palestinian West Bank and the Jordan Valley. This date, however, came and went and annexation was never actualized.

“I don’t know if there will be a declaration of sovereignty today,” said Israeli Foreign Minister, Gabi Ashkenazi, with reference to the self-imposed deadline declared earlier by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. An alternative date was not immediately announced.

But does it really matter?

Whether Israel’s illegal appropriation of Palestinian land takes place with massive media fanfare and a declaration of sovereignty, or whether it happens incrementally over the course of the coming days, weeks, and months, Israel has, in reality, already annexed the West Bank – not just 30% of it but, in fact, the whole area.

It is critical that we understand such terms as ‘annexation’, ‘illegal’, ‘military occupation’, and so on, in their proper contexts.

For example, international law deems that all of Israel’s Jewish settlements, constructed anywhere on Palestinian land occupied during the 1967 war, are illegal.

Interestingly, Israel, too, uses the term ‘illegal’ with reference to settlements, but only to ‘outposts’ that have been erected in the occupied territories without the permission of the Israeli government.

In other words, while in the Israeli lexicon the vast majority of all settlement activities in occupied Palestine are ‘legal’, the rest can only be legalized through official channels. Indeed, many of today’s ‘legal’ 132 settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, housing over half a million Israeli Jewish settlers, began as ‘illegal outposts’.

Though this logic may satisfy the need of the Israeli government to ensure its relentless colonial project in Palestine follows a centralized blueprint, none of this matters in international law.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions states that “Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive”, adding that “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

Israel has violated its commitment to international law as an ‘Occupying Power’ on numerous occasions, rendering its very ‘occupation’ of Palestine, itself, a violation of how military occupations are conducted – which are meant to be temporary, anyway.

Military occupation is different from annexation. The former is a temporary transition, at the end of which the ‘Occupying Power’ is expected, in fact, demanded, to relinquish its military hold on the occupied territory after a fixed length of time. Annexation, on the other hand, is a stark violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Regulations. It is tantamount to a war crime, for the occupier is strictly prohibited from proclaiming unilateral sovereignty over occupied land.

The international uproar generated by Netanyahu’s plan to annex a third of the West Bank is fully understandable. But the bigger issue at stake is that, in practice, Israel’s violations of the terms of occupation have granted it a de facto annexation of the whole of the West Bank.

So when the European Union, for example, demands that Israel abandons its annexation plans, it is merely asking Israel to re-embrace the status quo ante, that of de facto annexation. Both abhorring scenarios should be rejected.

Israel began utilizing the occupied territories as if they are contiguous and permanent parts of so-called Israel proper, immediately following the June 1967 war. Within a few years, it erected illegal settlements, now thriving cities, eventually moving hundreds of thousands of its own citizens to populate the newly acquired areas.

This exploitation became more sophisticated with time, as Palestinians were subjected to slow, but irreversible, ethnic cleansing. As Palestinian homes were destroyed, farms confiscated, and entire regions depopulated, Jewish settlers moved in to take their place. The post-1967 scenario was a repeat of the post-1948 history, which led to the establishment of the State of Israel on the ruins of historic Palestine.

Moshe Dayan, who served as Israel’s Defense Minister during the 1967 war, explained the Israeli logic best in a historical address at Israel’s Technion University in March 1969. “We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish state here,” he said.

“Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there, either … There is no one place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population,” he added.

The same colonial approach was applied to East Jerusalem and the West Bank after the war. While East Jerusalem was formally annexed in 1980, the West Bank was annexed in practice, but not through a clear legal Israeli proclamation. Why? In one word: demographics.

When Israel first occupied East Jerusalem, it went on a population transfer frenzy: moving its own population to the Palestinian city, strategically expanding the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem to include as many Jews and as few Palestinians as possible, slowly reducing the Palestinian population of Al Quds through numerous tactics, including the revocation of residency and outright ethnic cleansing.

And, thus, Jerusalem’s Palestinian population, which once constituted the absolute majority, has now been reduced to a dwindling minority.

The same process was initiated in parts of the West Bank, but due to the relatively large size of the area and population, it was not possible to follow a similar annexation stratagem without jeopardizing Israel’s drive to maintain Jewish majority.

Dividing the West Bank into Areas A, B, and C as a result of the disastrous Oslo accords, has given Israel a lifeline, for this allowed it to increase settlement activities in Area C – nearly 60% of the West Bank – without stressing too much about demographic imbalances. Area C, where the current annexation plan is set to take place, is ideal for Israeli colonialism, for it includes Palestine’s most arable, resource-rich, and sparsely populated lands.

It matters little whether the annexation will have a set date or will take place progressively through Israel’s declarations of sovereignty over smaller chunks of the West Bank in the future. The fact is, annexation is not a new Israeli political agenda dictated by political circumstances in Tel Aviv and Washington. Rather, annexation has been the ultimate Israeli colonial objective from the very onset.

Let us not get entangled in Israel’s bizarre definitions. The truth is that Israel rarely behaves as an ‘Occupying Power’, but as a sovereign in a country where racial discrimination and apartheid are not only tolerated or acceptable but are, in fact, ‘legal’ as well.

Iran Prepares Retaliation for Israeli Acts of Sabotage

By Elijah J. Magnier

Source

Iranian Syrian meeting in Damascus 0a629

Iran has postponed the announcement of those it has concluded were responsible for the sabotage at the Natanz nuclear centrifuge facility and probably other sites. However, high ranking personnel in Tehran say that “investigations have concluded and the latest explosions may well have been related; indications are that Israel, plus another Middle Eastern country, are involved. Iran is studying its suitable and inevitable retaliation”.

According to the source, “this has been confirmed beyond any doubt as an act of sabotage. The explosion at Natanz was destructive but security forces managed to thwart further attacks before the planned actions could succeed. We have carried out several arrests”.

The spokesperson of Iran’s parliamentary national security committee Abul’FazlAmoudi said Iran was investigating all possible scenarios related to the Natanz explosion. Security and intelligence officers are looking carefully into the matter and will release the results of the investigation in due course.

“More advanced centrifuges with maximum performance will be built. The Islamic Republic will retaliate against those responsible, wherever they are in the Middle East so that they learn not to repeat similar attacks in the future. The nuclear deal with the US and Europe proved useless because the Americans revoked it and the Europeans did nothing to honor their commitment “for fear of Washington’s retaliation”. The West can no longer be considered a viable partner. Iran has decided a strategic way forward, looking East rather than West”, said the source.

The facts: in recent weeks, several explosions occurred in different locations in Iran. An explosion took place at a medical center north of Tehran causing 19 deaths and 14 wounded. Iran arrested those involved in the explosion that killed mainly medical personnel. A power plant in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahwaz’s al-Zirqan district caught fire last Saturday following an explosion. A chlorine gas leak occurred at a unit of the Karoom petrochemicals plant near the port of Bandar Imam Khomeini in the Persian Gulf injuring dozens. Also, an explosion occurred east of Tehran near the Parchin military and weapons development base caused by a leak in gas storage, as initially reported. “Not all explosions are related to the saboteurs”, said the source.

“We shall not remain silent, because the Rule of Engagement has been violated. That gives Iran the right to retaliation with similar or greater strikes. The sabotage actions were carried out by the Israelis with US approval and the help of a Gulf country. This is a direct threat to Iran’s national security—but we are not in a hurry to retaliate immediately. All options are on the table and we certainly don’t want to support (US President Donald) Trump by giving him the pretext for any retaliation he could benefit from, or by diverting attention from his multiple domestic crises”, said the source.

Iran is present in more than one country and one Middle Eastern platform. It has many options for retaliation against those Tehran considers responsible for one, or for several, acts of sabotage. Iran believes these actions were intended to divert attention from the Natanz explosion that was the main target. Iran will take the case to the International Atomic Energy Agency that has access to Natanz in order to prove that it was an act of sabotage against an officially recognized nuclear site.

According to the high-ranking official, the Iranian-Syrian meeting in Damascus between Major General Mohammad Bagheri and his counterpart General Ali Ayyoub and the agreement signed to strengthen the Syrian air defense system is also a message to Israel for its action in Natanz.

According to officials in Iran, Israel – whose responsibility for the Natanz sabotage Avigdor Lieberman has already avowed – has “directly overseen the attack to slow down Iran’s unchanged path towards peaceful nuclear capability. Moreover, Israel – according to officials – wants Iran to end its support to its allies in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. These unlawful sabotage acts are not new to Iran. Therefore, the road towards nuclear capability will not cease, and support for Iranian allies will obviously increase.”

Israel seems to be trying hard to drag the US into a war situation with Iran because it can’t accept Iran’s growing strength in the Middle East, notwithstanding endless attempts to block Iran’s development during 40 years of sanctions. Israel carried out multiple assassinations against Iranian scientists and high-ranking figures to no avail. Iran has indeed been forced to rely upon itself, build a chain of powerful allies, and find ways to grow independently from the support of the Western countries due to their unfriendly attitude and disregard for signed agreements.

 

Israel is trying to stimulate the many Gulf countries who are anxious to run into Israel’s arms and establish overt relationships with Israel. These Gulf countries, led by Saudi Arabia, want Israeli support “to break Iran’s back”. That is nothing new; the Israeli-Saudi relationship dates back to the 80s. Bahrein, Qatar, and the Emirates all have established relations with Israel. However, Israel and Saudi Arabia cannot predict the Iranian reaction. Retaliation will come from the Axis of the Resistance. And it will come in an unexpected way.

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