PCHR: Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (18 – 24 Jun 2020)

Source

June 25, 2020 10:26 PM

Summary

Israeli forces continued to commit crimes and multifaceted violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including invasions into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians. This week, the Israeli military’s excessive use of force killed 1 civilian, rendered 22 injuries among Palestinian civilians, including a child during raids and attacks on peaceful protests in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, which have also witnessed wide-scale demolitions and distribution of demolition notices of civilian houses and properties over the past several weeks, as Israeli occupation authorities prepare to commence its annexation plan of large parts of West Bank territories.

This week, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) documented 191 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli Forces and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt).
 
IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: IOF shot and wounded 22 Palestinians, including a child, with live and rubber-coated steel bullets in a show of excessive use of force against unarmed civilians in the West Bank.

In Gaza, 6 shootings against agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip were reported; and once against fishing boats sailing in northern Gaza sea.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 105 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, 88 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 children and 4 women.

Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: IOF continued its settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented 24 violations, including;

  • Hebron: confiscation of sheep barn, caravan, oil pump and archaeological pillars, and distributed two cease-construction notices to two houses;
  • Bethlehem: construction on a settlement-road;
  • East Jerusalem: 2 civilians forced to self-demolish their homes, demolition notices given to two buildings and a house at al-Madares St.; several demolition notices in al-‘Isawiya; 3 houses demolished; confiscation al-Abbasy family land in Silwan village; confiscation a blacksmith workshop and tools; raid on mechanic shops in al-Sawahra and Abu-Dis;
  • Nahalin village: car wash and a house demolished; notice to evacuate a land and to cease rehabilitation work at an agricultural land; and confiscation of a construction vehicle;
  • Salfit: notice to cease-construction on an agricultural room and a rainwater well; 1 house self-demolished and another residential building (3-storey) demolished; other demolitions included: 1 residential facility; 7 small commercial facilities; 1 barracks; under-construction apartment and sports center wall;
  • Ramallah: demolition of 3 houses, including 1 under-construction;
  • Northern Jordan Valley: 48 olive trees bulldozed.

PCHR also documented 2 illegal Israeli settler attacks that included assault in Bethlehem and Ramallah that injured 4 civilians.

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.

Furthermore, since the PA ended security coordination with Israeli authorities in May 2020, hundreds of critically ill patients whose condition cannot afford delays in treatment were denied travel.

This week, 2 children died because they were unable to travel for treatment abroad. This was amplified by the restrictions put in place by IOF since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, that had already had grave implications on the humanitarian and economic situation of the Gaza Strip population.

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. Violation of the Right to Life and to Bodily Integrity/Shooting and other Violations

  • At approximately 08:10 on Friday, 19 June 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands, adjacent to the border area. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 19 June 2020, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kufur Qaddoum village’s lands, north of Qalqilia, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian civilians participated. IOF the young concussion grenades, and tear-gas canisters at them. As a result, 10 civilians, including a child, were shot and injured with shrapnel and rubber-coated steel rounds. (The names of the wounded civilians area available at PCHR)
  • At approximately 15:00 on Friday, 19 June 2020, IOF suppressed a peaceful protest at the northern entrance to al-Bireh city called for by national factions in Ramallah and al-Bireh to pretest against the Israeli annexation plan to part of the West Bank lands. Israeli soldiers stationed at al-Mahkamah checkpoint, adjacent to “Beit Eil” settlement, north of the city, fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, dozens of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 07:30 on Saturday, 20 June 2020, reinforced with military SUVs stormed al-Maghir village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses. In the meantime, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw atones and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers stationed in the center of the village. Israeli soldiers opened fire at the civilians. As a result, a 22-year-old young man was shot with a rubber-coated steel round in his head. He was transferred to Palestine Medical Complex for treatment.
  • At approximately 07:30 on the same Saturday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence in eastern al-Maghazi area in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:30 on the same Saturday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of civilians in lands adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 00:10 on Sunday 21 June 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Deir al-Balah shores in central Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishermen and their boats. Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:30 on the same Monday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Maghazi in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds in lands adjacent to the border area. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:30 on the same Monday, IOF stationed at al-Hamrah checkpoint, north of the West Bank, fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians, who gathered near the checkpoint after Israeli soldiers stationed at the above-mentioned checkpoint prevented dozens of Palestinian buses from crossing the checkpoint to participate in a protest in Jericho against the Israeli annexation plan to be implemented in the next month. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas canisters. They received medical treatment on the field.
  • At approximately 15:00 on the same Monday, a number of civilians gathered in Bab al-Zawiyah area in the center of Hebron and threw stones at Military Checkpoint (56) established at the entrance to al-Shuhada’a street, which is closed. Israeli soldiers chased stone-throwers and indiscriminately fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a number of young men suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 16:00on the same Monday, an Israeli infantry unit stormed al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. Israeli soldiers indiscriminately fired tear gas canisters at the camp’s main street claiming that they were stoned. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated to tear gas inhalation. The infantry unit withdrew later from the camp. Neither casualties nor houses incursions were reported.
  • At approximately 17:30 on the same Monday, a number of Palestinian young men gathered in “al-Qatou’a” area, west of Deir Abu Mash’al village, adjacent to the settlement street linking between “Halmish” settlement, north west of Ramallah, to confront Israeli settlers protected by IOF, who carried out riots in the area. They young men threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at settlers’ vehicles passing through the above-mentioned street. Israeli soldiers immediately fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, Mos’ab Abu Ata (15) was shot with a rubber bullet in his foot. He was taken via an Israeli ambulance that handed him over to a PRCS ambulance, which referred him to Palestine Medical Complex for treatment.
  • At approximately 22:40 on the same Monday, IOF moved into Nablus from the eastern entrance (Beit Furik) and southern entrance (Howarah) and stationed in the eastern area of the city, to secure the entry of dozens of buses carrying settlers to the above-mentioned area in order to perform prayers in “Joseph’s Tomb” in Balatat al-Balad village. A number of Palestinian civilians gathered and set tires on fire, put barricades, and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli vehicles. IOF immediately fired rubber bullets and sound bombs at civilians to disperse them. As a result, a 24-year-old young man was shot with a rubber bullet in right hand. He was transferred to Rafidia Governmental Hospital for medical treatment. Many also were suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. They received medical treatment on the field.
  • On Tuesday evening, 23 June 2020, Israeli Forces killed a Palestinian young man after opening fire at his vehicle, which collided into the traffic island in the center of al-container military checkpoint, east of Bethlehem. IOF claimed that the victim attempted to carry out a run-over attack, but according to the information collected by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) the victim was in fact was en route to pick up his mother, in preparation for his sister’s wedding, which was supposed to be held in the evening in Abu Dies village. PCHR stresses that IOF used disproportionate force, especially that the victim posed no real threat to the soldiers’ lives in light of the heavy fortifications at the checkpoint.
     According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitness testimonies, at approximately 15:53 on Tuesday, Ahmed Mostafa Mousa Erekat (26), from Abu Dis village in occupied East Jerusalem, was waiting in queue at al-container military checkpoint in eastern Bethlehem, to cross into Bethlehem where he was supposed to pick up his mother and sisters from a beauty salon in the city and return to Abu Dies village to attend his sister, Eman’s wedding. At approximately 15:55, when Erekat vehicle approached the checkpoint, it deviated from its path and collided into the traffic island opposite the glass room where Israeli border guard soldiers stationed. The soldiers immediately opened fire at the vehicle, wounding Erekat with several live bullets in his upper body. They pulled him out of the vehicle, threw him on the ground and prevented Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS)’s medical crew from approaching him or providing first aid; leaving him to bleed to death on the ground at the checkpoint.
  • At approximately 15:25 on the same Tuesday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Wadi al-Douh area, northeast of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the border area and fired a number of tear gas canisters. Palestinian shepherds who were adjacent to the border fence, panicked and left the area. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 08:25 on Wednesday, 24 June 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Blah in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire agricultural lands, adjacent to border area. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 18:00 on the same Wednesday, dozens of Palestinian outraged young men at the killing of Ahmed Mustafa Oraiqat (27) gathered in front of Ahmed’s house in Abu Dis village, east of occupied East Jerusalem as the protest took part in all the village streets. The protestors chanted slogans condemning the killing of Qraiqat, headed to the Mount area in the village, and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli military vehicles. A large Israeli force immediately stormed the village and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors and clashed with them for 4 hours. At approximately 13:00 on the same day, confrontations between IOF and Palestinian young men took part in Ras Kabsah area, adjacent to al-‘Izariyah village, during which IOF fired a barrage of tear gas canisters. As a result, a house owned by Walid Hatem al-Huseini was completely burned after it was hit with many tear gas canisters. Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that its crews offered medical treatment to 9 persons who were shot with rubber bullets and more than 28 persons suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and they received medical treatment on the field.

 
II. Incursions and Arrests:

Thursday, 18 June 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jabal Handaza area, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Hatem Yousef al-Refati’s (37) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Bani Na’eem village, east of Hebron. They raided and searched Yehya Khader Humaidat’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Nahaleen, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Bara’ Ibrahim Shakarna’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Sourif village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Malek Tayseer Ghunaimat’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Ammer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Ahmed Haitham Slaibi’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:10, IOF moved into Jayyous village, northeast of Qalqilia. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Suhaib Wael Shamasnah (21).
  • At approximately 04:20, IOF moved into al-Mazra’a al-Gharbeya village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Sa’ed Taha al-Khatib’s (27) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with 8 military vehicles, moved into al-Beira and stationed in Um al-Sharayit neighborhood. They raided and searched Majd Ibrahim al-Boushi’s (32) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into Kafr Tholth village, northeast of Qalqilia. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mahmoud Sameeh Shawahna (22).
  • At approximately 04:40, an undercover unit from the IOF “Mista’arvim” moved into ‘Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. They sneaked by a Ford mini-bus carrying Palestinian registration plates and stationed in front of Mohammed Abdul Karim Abu Zeina’s (27) house and arrested him. Meanwhile, IOF stormed the village and surrounded their house and covered the unit’s withdrawal and took Zeina to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Adam Shafiq Obaid’s (20) house and handed Obaid a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services.
  • At approximately 05:15, IOF moved into Jinsafut village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Abdul Rahman Mahmoud Bashir (28), and Sami Abdul Rahman Mahmoud Shubair (33).
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF arrested Fadi Ali Alian (34), the guard of the Aqsa Mosque’s guard, while working in the mosque’s yard in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took him to one of the investigation centers in the city.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and handed (4) civilians summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services; Anwar Sami Obaid (22), Mohammed Ayman Obaid (20), Mohammed Esmat Obaid (20), and Yousif Ali al-Kaswani (22).
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into Azoun village, east of Qalqilia. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Qais Zahran Owda (22).
  • At approximately 20:30, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, north of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Osaid Mor’eb Jaghoub (22), from Bita village, southeast of the city. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 21:50, IOF stationed in front of Gate (104) established adjacent to the annexation wall, west of Tulkarem, arrested Ibrahim Hussam Mahmoud Darwish (23) and ‘Amer Mahmoud Helal (25), from Tulkarem.
  • IOF carried out (7) incursions in ‘Atouf, southeast of Tubas, Kafr Qalil and Bita, Southeast of Nablus, al-Nabi Saleh and Betounia in Ramallah, Azoun, east of Qalqilia, and Ezbit Shofa, north of Tulkarem. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 19 June 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Kreesa village, east of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched Husain Ali Husain Shawaheen’s (38) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:55, IOF moved into Qafin village, north of Tulkarem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians: Mohammed Nabil Mahmoud To’ma (26), Ahmed Nabil Mohammed Sabbah (28), Ridwan Nasr al-Dein Ajouli (27), and Adeeb Mohammed Sabbah (24).
  • After Friday prayers, dozens of Susya village’s civilians, south of Hebron, a peaceful protest against the Israeli Authorities’ decision of annexing more areas in the West Bank on July 1. Meanwhile, IOF and group of Susya settlers arrived and tried to ban the protestors from entering the main street and prevented the journalists from documenting the incident. After dispersing the protestors, IOF withdrew, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 13:50, IOF stationed at the entrance of Salem military court, west of Jenin, arrested Abdul Rahman Taha Abu Sereya (25), from Jenin refugee camp. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 19:20, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into al-Mghayer village, northeast of Ramallah, and stationed at the main rotary of the village. They raided and searched two houses and arrested a man and a child; Mo’ayad Rayeq al-Na’san (17) and Rajeh Fayeq al-Na’san (20).
  • IOF carried out (11) incursions in Jenin and Qabatya, southeast of Jenin; Kafr Ra’i, southwest of Jenin; Bita, southeast of Nablus; Jericho, Termas’eya, and Na’leen, in Ramallah; Kafr Tholth, east of Qalqilia; Ra’s ‘Ateya, east of Tulkarem; and al-Zaweya, north of Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 20 June 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Kharas village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Tha’er Aziz Halahela’s (41) house and confiscated his Laptop, and no arrest was reported. It should be noted that Halahela was detained a month ago.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Hasan Khaled Alian’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Ali Jamal Abu Salah (28), from ‘Arraba village, southwest of the Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Derastya, north of Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 21 June 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast if the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (9) civilians including (4) children. The arrestees are: Omar Marwan Obaid (18), Mahmoud Marwan al-‘Anati (21), Mahmoud Marwan Owda (16), Hasan Yaser Darweesh (14), Mohammed Murad Dari (17), Mohammed Sameeh Alian (14), Mohammed Nasim Obaid, Mahmoud Abdu Ra’ouf Mahmoud (23), and Ahmed Eyad Awda. IOF also handed Ahmed Khalil Obaid (20) and As’ad Dari (23) summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Ammer, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Hamad Yousef Mohammed Bahr (26) and Mohammed Ibrahim Mustafa Sabarna (24). Meanwhile, IOF stormed al-Manasra furniture store in Safa, the northern neighborhood of the city, they opened the store’s doors with special tools, and started searching until 02:30. IOF withdrew and took the arrestees to an unknown destination.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Yatta, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Eyad Diab Abu Qbaita’s (35) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:20, IOF moved into Dura al-Qara’, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Salim Edris Hamdan (32) and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOFD reinforced with two military vehicles moved into al-Mazra’a al-Gharbeyya village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Ra’fat Mohammed Saleem Abu Rabea’s (45) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF moved into al-Rahmah Gate praying hall, east of al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They arrested one of the mosque’s guards and (5) civilians including (2) children and took them to al-Qashla police station in Jerusalem’s Old City. After several hours of investigation, IOF released them on condition that banning their entry to the Aqsa Mosque for a week and refer to the police station to extend their banning decision again for several months. The arrestees are: Abdul Karim Qa’oud, Shifa’ Abu Ghalya (18), Aya Abu Nab (21), Aya Ma’touq (18), Mayar al-Natsheh (16), and Maram al-Natsheh (17).

Monday, 22 June 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Tayaseer village, east of Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Eyad Mithqal Daraghma (35), Duham Fayez Subaih (28), works at the Palestinian National Security, and Zahi Ahmed Abu Muhsen (45).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Beit Fujjar, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Akram Taqateqa’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:20, IOF moved into Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Waseem Jehad Nazzal (25), Ahmed Ibrahim al-Sheikh (18), and his brother Mohammed (19).
  • At approximately 05:30, IOF moved into ‘Anabta village, north of Tulkarem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Marwan Salim Hannoun (23).
  • At approximately 06:25, IOF moved into Zeita village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Bader Mazen Sayed Ahmed (24).
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF stationed at Howara’s main street in Howara village, southeast of Nablus, arrested (3) civilians from Bita village while presented near a fast-food restaurant. IOF took Sa’eed Rabah Dwaikat (18), Aseel Naser Dwaikat (19), and Ahmed Yaser Dwaikat (18), to unknown destinations.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Bita, southeast of Nablus; Yatta, Sa’eer, and Beit Ammer, in Hebron; Beit Sirra and Na’leen in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (9) civilians, and took them to al-Maskoubeya investigation center, then released them after several hours on financial bail of 10,000 NIS and home confinement. The arrestees are: Mhmoud Shafiq Obaid (20), Amjad Ali Obaid (24), Mohammed Waleed Obaid (21), Ali Mohammed Obaid, Majd Nayef Mustafa (19), Tamer Darwish (21), Eyas Hussain Obaid, Nayef Waseem Obaid (18), and Mahmoud Ramadan Obaid (23).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Qalandia refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Isma’el Ahmed Abu Latifa (28), Abdullah Mohammed Alqam (26), and Anas Mohammed Ya’qoub (24).
  • At approximately 03:10, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Kobqr village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mujahed Basel al-Barghouthi’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into al-Saf street in Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ibrahim Maher Khamees (18) and Nidal Ibrahim Abu ‘Ahour (41) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into Wadi Hilwa village in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Ibtisam Sharaf’s (50) house and arrested her.
  • At approximately 18:40, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the main entrance of al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, arrested Wahbi Ehsan al-Rimawi (29), from Beit Rima village, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 20:30, IOF stationed at al-Mahkama checkpoint, near Beit Eil settlement north of the city, arrested Mustafa Mahmoud Ghawanma (17) and Ahmed Ali Safi (17).
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Qabatya, north of the occupied West Bank. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Sawahra al-Sharqeya, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Noah Fahd Za’atra’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Qalqilia. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Wael Ali Abu Qamar (44) and Yousef Mohammed al-Ra’i (39). Meanwhile, a special unit headed to arrest Bara’ (24) and his brother Hussain Ali Abtali, in Jaljoulia street in the city.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Halhoul, north of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Oday Younis al-Douda (24) and Mohammed Younis al-Bow (20).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Sameer Zayyat’s (46) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron and stationed at al-Duhdah neighborhood. They raided and searched Mathna Omar al-Qawasma’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Belal Mohammed Miskawi (39), and Ibrahim Shaker Shbaita.

 
III. Settlement Expansion and Settler Violence in the Occupied West Bank

i. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Illegal Settlement Expansion Activities

  • At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 18 June 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Tawana village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. IOF were deployed between Palestinians’ houses while the Israeli Civil Administration officers got Jamal Mohammed ‘Issa Rab’i (44)’s sheep out of the barn and confiscated the shed and steel pipes, under the pretext of establishing the barn without getting a permission from the Israeli Civil Administration Department.
  • On Thursday, the Israeli Nature Authority staff raided al-‘Abasi family land in Silwan’s Wadi al-Rababah neighborhood to seize and confiscate it. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli Nature Authority staff moved into the land and started working on it, so the land’s owners confronted them. During which, the Israeli Nature Authority staff pepper-sprayed ‘Abasi family members, including the elderly Mohamed Dawoud (90). As a result, they sustained burns in their faces and suffocated. The Israeli police arrived at the area and informed al-‘Abasi family that the Israeli Nature Authority staff could gardening the land upon the court’s decision and if they have any objection, they could head to the court.
  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli Municipality staff along with officers from the Israeli Ministry of Interior moved into the eastern lands of al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, where distributed demolition and eviction notices. Mohammed Abu al-Humus, Head of the Follow-up Committee in al-‘Isawiya village, said that Israeli authorities distributed demolition and eviction notices in al-‘Isawiya village in favor of establishing National Parks on Palestinians’ lands. He added that Israeli authorities prevented the village residents from construction and demolished their houses, in addition to distributing notices every week, under the pretext of non-licensing. He also clarified that Israeli authorities refused to endorse the structural map that enables the residents to build and expand.
  • On the same day, IOF demolished a car wash in al-Manshiyia village, near Taqou’a village, east of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Mayor of Taqou’a Municipality, Tayseer Abu Mefreh, said that IOF moved into ak-Manshiyia village and demolished ‘Ali al-Khatib’s 70-square-meter car wash, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • On the same day, Israeli military construction vehicles bulldozed a house in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Ahmed Salah, Head of al-Khader village, said that IOF moved into Kherbet ‘Alia in Um Rokba area in al-Khader village and demolished Sameer Ahmed Salah’s house comprised of 2 rooms and a kitchen and built of tin plates. Salah clarified that the house sheltered 6 persons. It should be noted that IOF demolished Salah’s 150-square-meter house 6 months ago.
  • On Saturday, 20 June 2020, Eyad and Feras Nabeel Da’nah implemented the Israeli Municipality order and self-demolished their houses in Hosh al-A’war area in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Feras Da’nah said that he was handed 2 demolition notices months ago and due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the Israeli municipality delayed the demolition. Since then, he went to several lawyers to stop the demolition, but in vain. Da’nah clarified that the municipality staff prevented him from completing the construction and ordered his brother ‘Alaa to vacate the 2 houses and self-demolish them, or they will pay the demolition costs for the municipality. He added that he submitted an application to license the houses and informed the municipality that he will pay all fines, but it refused. Da’nah pointed out that he borrowed NIS 10,000 in order to build the two houses and got a loan to live in the house with his two brothers.
  • On Sunday, 21 June 2020, Israeli authorities notified a Palestinian civilian to vacate his agricultural land in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. Hasan Breijieh, Head of the Bethlehem office of Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission, said that IOF notified Bassam Khalil Jaber Ghunaim to vacate his 6 dunums of agricultural lands in Khelt al-Fahem area in al-Khader village. It should be noted that al-Khader village residents are continuously exposed to IOF and settlers’ attacks, including levelling lands, uprooting trees and preventing farmers’ access to their lands.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbet Bereen, west of Bani Na’iem village, west of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Fayiz Imraziq al-Faqeer and Isma’il Joudi Burqan notices to stop construction works in their 50-square-meter houses built of bricks and tin plates.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 21 June 2020, IOF moved into Khelet Kharoub area in Burqeen village, west of Salfit. They distributed a notice to stop construction works in an agricultural room and a water well, in addition to hanging another notice on an agricultural room’s wall, under the pretext of being in Area C. The room owner, ‘Abed al-Fattah Samarah, said that IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Khelet Kharoub area, where I built an agricultural room and a water well. They also hanged a notice on the wall of an agricultural room built 8 months ago.
  • On Sunday, 21 June 2020, IOF stopped reclaiming agricultural lands and confiscated a bulldozer in Nahaleen village, west of Bethlehem. Hani Fanoun, Deputy of Nahaleen Municipality Mayor, said that IOF moved into Thour al-Za’faran area, south of the village, and stopped reclaiming agricultural lands. They then confiscated a bulldozer working in the land and detained its owner. Fanoun added that IOF threatened Nahaleen Municipality and Palestinian civilians not to return to the area and work on it, under the pretext of being under Israeli sovereignty.
  • On the same day, Israeli bulldozers, under IOF protection, built a new road for Israeli settlers in Nahaleen village. The new road will connect the two settlements “Beitar Illit” and “Gush Etizon”. IOF imposed tight measures on civilians to deny their access to the area. The building of this road will isolate 4 dunums of the village lands from its surrounding in a proactive step to control these lands planted with different types of trees.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 23 June 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Wad al-A’war area, south of Hebron. The military construction vehicles demolished Thair Farah ‘Abed al-Motaleb Ghaith’s 30-square-meter agricultural room, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Zaif area, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers confiscated a 20-square-meter mobile caravan and a diesel fuel dispenser belonging to Ahmed Abu Rajab, who was handed a list of confiscated items to refer to the competent authorities in “Gush Etizon” settlement.
  • At the same time, IOF seized equipment from a blacksmith workshop and raided an automobile repair shop in al-Sawhrah and Abu Dies villages, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem. Activist Mohammed Hijazi said that a large force of IOF moved into al-Sawhrah village and seized equipment from ‘Urwa Ja’afrah’s blacksmith workshop. He added that IOF moved into Abu Dies village, where they raided and searched Nouh Za’atrah’s automobile repair shop.
  • On the same day, IOF demolished Mohammed al-Rajbi’s house in al-Bostan neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • Mohammed al-Rajbi said that IOF accompanied with Israeli Municipality staff raided his house sheltering him, his wife and their 4 children and demolished it with manual machineries, because their construction vehicles could reach the house location. Al-Rajbi added that he built his house in March 2020 and during that period, he received notices to stop construction works. When he lived in the house in May 2020, the Israeli Municipality issued an administrative demolition order against his house. Al-Rajbi also said that he attempted to freeze the demolition order, but in vain. After that, the court gave him until 15 June to vacate the house. Al-Rajbi clarified that his 130-square-meter house costs NIS 100,000, and that he could not self-demolish his house despite the high demolition costs that would be imposed on him after the municipality crews carried out the demolition.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Tawameen area, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers confiscated hand tools used for excavation from Barakat Mahmoud Barakat Mur’s land.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Thaghrah area, east of Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. IOF raided Khaled Yousef Berighith’s house and confiscated stone pillars. IOF handed Berighith a list of confiscated items and withdrew later.
  • On Tuesday, 23 June 2020, Israeli Municipality staff hanged demolition orders on 2 buildings and a house in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Hussain Mohamed al-‘Abasi said that the municipality hanged a demolition order on his building comprising of a shop and 2 apartments; the first sheltering 4 persons and building on (75 sqm), and the second sheltering 7 persons and building on (40 sqm). Also, Israeli Municipality staff hanged a demolition order on Sa’ied ‘Ali al-‘Abasi’s 110-square-meter building comprising of 2 floors; each one includes 2 apartments sheltering 16 persons. It should be noted that al-‘Abasi’s building was built 60 years ago. Al-‘Abasi said that the municipality staff informed all the notified buildings’ owners that their houses will be demolished under the pretext of construction without licensing, noting that all buildings were established 25-60 years ago.
  • At approximately 07:30 on Wednesday, 24 June 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Betunia village, west of Ramallah. IOF demolished ‘Abed al-‘Aziz ‘Odah al-Farroukh’s under-construction house (110 sqm), under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.
  • At approximately 08:00, Israeli Municipality staff demolished a floor comprised of 2 residential apartments in al-Raba’ia neighborhood in al-Mukaber Mount area, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Ra’fat Rabai’a, an apartment’s owner, said that he was shocked when the municipality staff raided his house and demolished it, noting that a court session was supposed to be held on afternoon regarding the demolition order. Rabai’a added that the municipality staff used manual machineries to demolish the 3rd He also said that each floor was comprised of 2 apartments and built 25 years ago. He clarified that in April 2020, he repaired the house roof built of bricks, so the municipality issued an order to stop working and appointed a court session. Rabai’a said he his apartment sheltered his family comprising of 5 persons while the 2nd under-construction apartment was for his brother Mohammed.
  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli municipality bulldozes demolished Sharhabeel ‘Alqam’s house in Beit Haninah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Alqam said that the municipality staff bulldozed his house, although a court session was supposed to be held at 13:30. He added that his 120-square-meter house, sheltered 9 persons and was built 2 months ago.
  • At approximately 09:15, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Beit Sira village, west of Ramallah. IOF were stationed at the entrance to al-Latroun Street, near a military checkpoint established there. The military construction vehicles demolished Ahmed Fayiz Abu Safia’s under-construction house (90 sqm), under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C. Meanwhile, clashes broke out between Palestinian young men and IOF, who indiscriminately fired a barrage of sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the stone-throwers. As a result, olive trees in the area were set ablaze. The Palestinian civil defense vehicles immediately arrived and put out the fire. It should be noted that Israeli authorities did not notify the mentioned house prior to the demolition.
  • At approximately 09:30, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Bardalah village, west of Jericho in northern Jordan valley. The military construction vehicles bulldozed 84 olive trees from agricultural lands and workers from private companies cut the trees with saws. The damaged trees belong to al-Rabai’a family, and they were as follows:(58) olive trees planted 9 years ago, property of ‘Izzat Faleh Mahmoud Raba’ia, were damaged.
    (13) olive trees planted 12 years ago, property of Mohmoud Faleh Mahmoud Raba’ia, were damaged.
    (7) olive trees planted 12 years ago, property of Hazza’ Faleh Mahmoud Raba’ia, were damaged.
  • At approximately 16:40, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Jabal area in al-Tira neighborhood, southwest of Ramallah. The military construction vehicles demolished Natheer Mohammed’s under-construction house (160 sqm), under the pretext of non-licensing.

ii. Israeli Settler Violence

  • On Friday, 19 June 2020, Israeli settlers beat and pushed Wadee’ Fadi Salah (15), from al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. As a result, he sustained bruises throughout his body and received treatment in Beit Jala Governmental Hospital. Activist Ahmed Salah said the Israeli settlers attacked Salah while staying near his house in Abu Sowd area, west of the village. They chased and pushed him from a great height, causing bruises and wounds throughout his body. He was then taken to a hospital in Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 12:00 on Tuesday, 23 June 2020, Israeli settlers, from ” Nahleel” settlement, which is established on Ras Karkar lands, west of Ramallah, attacked Ratib ‘Othman Abu Fikhidah (62) , his son ‘Othman (28) and his grandson Moheeb (18) while present in their agricultural lands in the village outskirts. As a result, they sustained wounds and bruises throughout their bodies and received treatment at Palestine Medical Complex.

Palestinian Artist Paints Mural on Apartheid Wall for Autistic Man Shot Dead by Israeli Police (VIDEO)

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June 16, 2020

Mural of Palestinian Iyad Hallaq on the Aparthied wall in Bethlehem. (Photo: via Twitter)

A Palestinian artist memorialized Palestinian autistic man Iyad Hallaq, 32, who was shot dead by Israeli police in Jerusalem on May 30.

A few days ago, Palestinian artist Taqieddin Sabatin painted a mural commemorating African American man George Floyd, who was killed by US police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25.



See @palestinechron’s other Tweets

Sabatin painted the Floyd and Hallaq murals on the concrete wall built by Israel to separate Bethlehem from Jerusalem in order to commemorate both victims of police brutality.

Hallaq, a 32-year-old man with the mental age of an 8-year-old child, was executed by Israeli forces while crouching behind his teacher near his special needs school in the Old City of Jerusalem.

His murder in cold blood brought to mind the killing in Minneapolis days earlier of George Floyd and made parallels of police brutality in the US against African Americans and in Palestine against Palestinian Arabs.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

Palestine Bleeds: Execution of Autistic Man is Not an Exception but the Norm

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June 10, 2020

The mother of Iyad Hallaq, an autistic Palestinian man who was killed by Israeli forces in Jerusalem. (Photo: via Social Media)

By Ramzy Baroud

A 32-year-old man with the mental age of an 8-year-old child was executed by Israeli soldiers on May 30, while crouching behind his teacher near his special needs school in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The cold-blooded murder of Iyad Hallaq might not have received much attention if it were not for the fact that it took place five days following the similarly heartbreaking murder of a 46-year-old black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, at the hands of American police.

The two crimes converge, not only in their repugnancy and the moral decadence of their perpetrators but also because countless American police officers have been trained in Israel, by the very Israeli ‘security forces’ that killed Hallaq. The practice of killing civilians, with efficiency and callousness, is now a burgeoning market. Israel is the biggest contributor to this market; the US is the world’s largest client.

When thousands of people rushed to the streets in Palestine, including hundreds of Palestinian and Israeli Jewish activists in Jerusalem, chanting “Justice for Iyad, justice for George”, their cry for justice was a spontaneous and heartfelt reaction to injustice so great, so blatant.

Hallaq’s story might appear particularly unique, as the ‘suspected terrorist’ was killed while merely walking in King Faisal Street in Jerusalem, on his way to take out the trash. He was afraid of soldiers and terrified of blood.

“He was also afraid of the armed police officers who stood along the route to the special needs center he went to, where he participated in a vocational training program,” the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported.

Hallaq’s many fears, which may have appeared exaggerated by his family, turned out to be true. Even an autistic person in Palestine is not safe from the vengeance of soldiers.

But Iyad Hallaq did not need to die for Israel to maintain its pathological sense of ‘security’. The fact that he was already shot and wounded, and found bleeding in a roofless garbage room in Jerusalem’s Old City, was not enough to spare him that horrific fate. The fact that the man screamed in agony while hiding behind his caregiver, who pleaded with the soldiers, begging them to stop puncturing his already bleeding body with more bullets, was also not enough.

Still, the soldiers stepped forward, and from a very close range, fired three bullets into Hallaq’s midsection as he lay wounded on his back. Instantly, the young man, the ‘apple of the eyes of his parents’, ceased breathing.

“He was our mother’s love, her entire life,” Iyad’s sister, Diana said in an interview with +972 magazine., adding:

“She would hold his hand like he was a baby, and he would walk with her to the market, or the mosque or the clothing store. He was like her shadow. She worried about him and whether other kids would bother or hurt him.”

Caught off guard by the grisly nature of the murder and the mental state of the victim, Israel’s spin doctors moved quickly to contain the damage, initially spreading lies that Hallaq was carrying a toy gun at the time of the shooting, then backing off, promising an investigation.

But what is there to investigate? In recent years, the Israeli army has upgraded its code of conduct, adopting a shoot-to-kill policy of any Palestinian they suspect of attempting to harm Israeli occupation soldiers, even when the alleged Palestinian ‘attacker’ is no longer posing a threat.

In the case of Gaza, where protesters are separated from Israeli snipers by barbed wire and nearly a mile-long empty space, the Israeli military issued orders, as of June 2019, to shoot and kill ‘key instigators’ of the mass protests even while ‘at rest’. Hundreds of people have been killed in Gaza’s Great March of Return in this way, and the ‘key instigators’ included medics, journalists, young boys, and girls.

Indeed, the killing of Palestinian civilians is a regular occurrence. It is the devastating routine with which Palestinians have been forced to co-exist for many years and for which Israel was never ever held accountable.

Only one day before Hallaq was murdered, Fadi Samara Qaad, 37, was killed by Israeli occupation soldiers while driving his car near the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, west of Ramallah.

The Israeli military immediately claimed that Qaad “tried to ram his car into a group of soldiers” before they opened fire, killing him on the spot.

This is the go-to Israeli military pretense that is often offered when a Palestinian driver is shot and killed by Israeli soldiers. Otherwise, the Palestinian victim, whether a man, a woman, or a child, is often accused of carrying a ‘sharp object’.

Hallaq’s mental disability might have spared him, in the eyes of some, from being that archetypical ‘terrorist’, although the Israeli army immediately raided his house, looking for ‘evidence’ that would implicate him and be useful in their sinister propaganda.

In the case of Qaad, a Palestinian worker, on his way to join his wife in a nearby town to celebrate the Muslim Eid holiday, the Israeli army statement suffices, no questions asked.

This is the same stifling logic that has prevailed in Palestine for so many years, and counting. Children are killed for throwing stones at men with guns, who have invaded their homes and villages; pregnant women are gunned down at Israeli army checkpoints; men with amputated legs on wheelchairs shot by snipers while protesting and demanding their freedom.

All of this is taking place in the complete absence of any promising political horizon. Even the protracted and ultimately useless ‘peace process’ has been halted in favor of greater American backing of Israel and of the Israeli government’s mad rush to expand illegal Jewish settlements.

To secure his colonial accomplishments – read: land theft – Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is about to reveal the crown jewel of his legacy, as he prepares for the expansion of Israel’s borders through the annexation of yet more Palestinian land.

Inspired by the common struggle that ties them with their African-American brethren, Palestinians are now left only with their cries for justice: Palestinian lives matter, hoping, for once, the world may hear and echo their screams and, perhaps, do something.

– 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, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

PCHR: Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (28 May – 03 Jun 2020)

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Summary of Israeli Violations of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (28 May – 03 June 2020)

Israeli occupation forces continued to commit crimes 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, IOF killed 2 Palestinians, including a disabled person, and wounded another in less than 15 hours in excessive use of lethal force in two separate incidents in Ramallah and East Jerusalem.

Additionally, this week witnessed an escalation in Israeli demolitions of Palestinian houses and properties in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, including the demolition of 7 houses, 4 of which were self-demolished, and 200 commercial facilities in Jerusalem received demolition and eviction notices; as well as, wide-scale land-razing and demolition notices distributed to houses and properties in the West Bank.

This week, Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) documented 180 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt. The restrictions imposed under the state of emergency have hindered our fieldwork team’s ability to cover all incidents in the oPt and were forced to collect information via phone from trusted local sources. As such, this report is an in-comprehensive record of Israeli violations of human rights against Palestinians in the oPt, as IOF continues its attacks against civilians despite the exceptional circumstances that have overcome the whole world in the face of a life-threatening pandemic.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: IOF shot and killed 2 Palestinians, including a disabled person, in two separate incidents of excessive use of lethal force in Ramallah and East Jerusalem. On 30 May 2020, IOF killed Iyad al-Hallaq, a person with disability (PWD), while he was en route to his school in East Jerusalem. PCHR investigations indicate that Israeli police personnel shot al-Hallaq despite being informed that he had a disability and shot him at zero distance while he laid on the ground wounded, which prove the soldiers intended to kill him without cause and without him posing any danger or threat to their lives. A day earlier, IOF killed Fadi Qa’d on suspicion of an intent to ram soldiers with his car in Ramallah. Furthermore, IOF wounded 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child that was arrested after being shot; a person with disability; and a journalist in Kufur Qaddoum in Qalqilia.

In Gaza, 3 shootings against agricultural lands eastern Gaza Strip were reported; and once against fishing boats sailing in northern Gaza sea.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 85 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, inciting fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 98 Palestinians were arrested, including 10 children and 4 women that included a journalist. The majority of arrests occurred in East Jerusalem, and targeted prominent religious and political figures who were detained for several hours before release with restraining orders from al-Aqsa Mosque grounds.

Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: IOF continued its settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented 19 violations, including: demolition of 5 rooms and 4 residential tents, 2 agricultural rooms, 9 demolition notices for two houses and small residences and properties in Hebron; a plot of land confiscated and 7 houses demolished, 4 of which were self-demolished by orders from IOF and wide-scale demolition and eviction notices were handed to 200 facilities in East Jerusalem; 5 notices to demolish 3 houses and 2 cabinets in Ramallah; work-halted at a excavation site, street reconstruction, and a settler-road established in Bethlehem; irrigation networks dismantled, 3 construction vehicles and water tank confiscated in Jericho; 4 barracks, 52 solar cells, 12 tables; 5 tons of barley and 3 tons of fodder confiscated in Nablus; 6 residential barracks made of tin plates and iron were demolished in Jericho.

PCHR also documented 3 settler attacks: Assaults on Palestinians and attempted to ram one with a car in Hebron; and farmers were evicted from land in Bethlehem.

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. Furthermore, IOF uses Erez Crossing that is designated for movement of individuals as an ambush to arrest Palestinians who obtain permits to exit via Israel.

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. Violation of the Right to Life and to Bodily Integrity: Shooting and other Violations

  • At approximately 16:00 on Thursday, 28 May 2020, an Israeli infantry unit stormed al-Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They indiscriminately fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters in the camp’s main road, claiming that the Israeli military watchtower established on a bypass road, east of the camp, was stoned. The Israeli unit withdrew later from the camp. Neither casualties nor house raids were reported.
  • At the same time, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Buraij in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Friday, 29 May 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:00 on the same Friday, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kufur Qaddoum village, north of Qalqilia, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian civilians participated. IOF chased young men who gathered in the area as clashes erupted. IOF fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the young men. As a result, 4 civilians, including a journalist, were shot and injured with rubber bullets in their lower extremities. The wounded journalist, Nidal Eshtiyah (46), who works at the Chinese News Agency, was shot with a rubber bullet in his thigh.
  • In a new crimes of excessive use of lethal force, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian, alleging that he attempted to ram Israeli soldiers with his car; northwest of Ramallah. According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 16:30 on Friday, 29 May 2020, IOF stationed at Raya valley area, between al-Nabi Saleh and Deir Nizam villages, in front of “Halamish” settlement, northwest of Ramallah, opened fire at a Palestinian vehicle driven by Fadi Adnan Samara Qa’d (37) from Abu Qash village, northwest of Ramallah. Qa’d was shot directly with a live bullet and left to bleed for more than two and a half hours, without being given any first aid. Hours later, an Israeli vehicle arrived and took Qa’d to an unknown destination. Later, Israeli Authorities announced Qa’d’s death due to Israeli forces’ shooting, alleging the victim attempted to ram Israeli soldiers with his car; no casualties among soldiers were reported.In contrast with the Israeli claims, according to information obtained by PCHR, Qa’d was driving his private Ford-Fiesta car (white) en route to al-Saweya village in Salfit to pick up his wife and 5 children from their Grandfather’s house. Qa’d was met by an Israeli military vehicle parked in the street, six soldiers stepped out from the vehicle, and 3 of them ordered him to stop before he reached the military vehicle. Qa’d lost control of his car and steered his car north-bound, in the opposite direction from where the soldiers stood, and collided with a wooden bench under a tree. IOF, from a 10-meter distance, immediately opened fire at Qa’d’s car, and wounded him while he was inside. The soldiers left him to bleed for more than two hours and half, without providing any first aid, and prevented the Palestinian ambulances from approaching him. He was later taken to an unknown destination. It should be noted that Qa’d’s car did not pose a threat or danger to the soldiers’ lives, and the fact it steered towards the opposite side from where soldiers stood proves the was no intent to ram them.After the news of Qa’d’s murder, dozens of Palestinians from al-Nabi Saleh village gathered, threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed in the area and clashes erupted as the later responded with live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, Ahmed Eyad al-Tamimi (21), a disabled person with down syndrome, was shot with a live bullet in his left leg, and he was referred to the Istishari Arab Hospital in al-Rihan suburb, in Ramallah for treatment.
  • At approximately 06:30 on Friday, 29 May 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • In a new crime of extra-judicial execution, IOF shot dead a disabled Palestinian civilian, while he was heading to his school in East Jerusalem. According to PCHR’s investigations, Israeli police officers shot dead the said civilian, despite some warnings that he was disabled from a zero range while lying on the ground and wounded, indicating that the victim was deliberately killed without justification and without posing a threat to the lives of Israeli soldiers.According to information obtained by PCHR, at approximately 06:15 on Saturday, 30 May 2020, Israeli police at al-Mujahideen Street, near Bab al-Asbat area, fired live bullets at disabled man, Iyad Khairy al-Hallaq (32), killing him immediately. Al-Hallaq was en route to a special education school for persons over the age of 18, near the King Faisal Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. As a result, was shot dead with several live bullets.Israeli police claimed that they noticed “a Palestinian carrying a suspicious object that they thought was a gun and ordered him to stop. After the man refused and started fleeing the scene, the officers started chasing him on foot and opened fire, ultimately killing him.” In a subsequent statement, the Israeli Police announced that the victim was unarmed, and that he had been shot with 8 bullets.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Sunday, 31 May 2020, IOF suppressed a protest organized by dozens of activists and civilians to commemorate the 19th anniversary of Faisal Abdul-Qadir al-Huseini’s death, Executive Committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), at Beit al-Sharq, which is closed in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. Eyewitnesses stated that IOF surrounded the protest, closed the street and handed over the protestors a ban decision signed by the Israeli Minister of Internal Security, alleging that the protest is sponsored by the PA, and it did not obtain necessary authorization in accordance with ” Identifying Activities” agreement. IOF also arrested Adnan Adek Tawfiq Ghaith (46), Jerusalem’s Mayor, Nasser Qaws (49), Head of Prisoners Club in Jerusalem, Awad al-Salaimah (48), Member at Fateh Movement in Jerusalem, tribal leader Abed al-Salaimah, Ishaq, Ishaq and Marwan al-Ghoul. IOF further handed summonses to other civilians. On the next day morning, Israeli authorities released Mayor Ghaith without conditions.
  • At the same time, IOF suppressed a protest, called for by a youth movement in Jerusalem, at Damascus Gate in the center of occupied East Jerusalem, in which dozens of Palestinian civilians participated to condemn the killing of Iyad al-Hallaq, who was disabled. When the protestors chanted slogans condemning the killing of al-Hallaq, IOF surrounded the area and established steal barriers and forcibly evacuated the area of participants. IOF also chased the participants and attacked some of them by beating and pushing them and arrested Ahmed Montaser Abu Sbaih (23).
  • At approximately 19:00 on Sunday, 31 May 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed at the western entrance to Kafer Malek village, northeast of Ramallah, indiscriminately fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at civilians’ houses in al-Tarbi’ah area, adjacent to Bypass Road (60), alleging that they were stoned. As a result, Rasem Suleiman Ghurrah (15) was shot with a rubber bullet in his foot. Israeli soldiers arrested Rasem and released on Monday, 01 June 2020. Rasem was transferred to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah for medical treatment.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 02 June 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia chased and sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 nautical miles). Israeli artillery also fired smoke shells in the vicinity of the fishing boats. As a result, fishermen panicked and fled to shore, fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 00:14 on Wednesday, 03 June 2020, IOF suppressed a protest with al-Aqsa Mosque Khatib, Sheikh Akramah Sabri, in front of his house in al-Sowanah neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF attacked the participant by beating and pushing them and arrested 3 of them.Eyewitnesses stated that IOF surrounded the vicinity of Sheikh Sabri’s house before the protest begins. Noon prayers were scheduled to be held followed by the protest and press conference, before the sheikh went to “Al-Qashla” Investigation Center after he was summoned to it. IOF intended to renew the decision to deny Sheikh Sabri’s access to al-Aqsa Mosque. IOF fixed a decision by the Israeli police chief to ban any event in solidarity with the sheikh at the door of his house.Eyewitnesses added that IOF checked the participants’ ID cards, maltreated them, and arrested some of them. Some of the arrestee were identified as: Jihad Abi Znaid (53), Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC)’s Member; Sheikh Abdullah Alqam, Secretary-General of the Tribes in Jerusalem and Palestine; and Hamdi Diab, Head of Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee in Jerusalem. IOF also handed summonses to journalists Ahmed Othman Jalajel (41) and Murad Saeed, who were covering the protest. IOF further attacked 3 lawyers, who were in the area, namely: Khalid Zabarqah, Medhat Dibah, and Hamzah Qatinah.It should be noted that IOF arrested Sheikh Sabri from his house last Friday and denied him access to al-Aqsa Mosque for a week. IOF summoned him on Wednesday for investigation to deny him access again for several months.

2. Incursions and Arrests

Thursday, 28 May 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Hebron. They raided and searched Omar Abdulmohdi Shawar’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Qafin, north of Tulkarem. They raided and searched several houses belonging to Karam Ra’ed Mohammed Ammar (28) and Abdul Rahim Waleed Sabah (26) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:40, IOF moved into Far’oun village, south of Tulkarem. They raided and searched Mahmoud Nabil Odwan’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:45, IOF moved into Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians: Nour Bashar Abu Baker (23), his brother (21), and Mohammed Reyad Turkman (20).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Qabaitia, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched Mohammed Ma’moun Abu al-Rab’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into Misilya village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched Abdulsalam Nabih Abu al-Rab’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into al-Jalazon refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Fareed Tareq al-Tirawi’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into Wadi Hilweh neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Ibrahim Bidoun’s house and arrested his two sons; Dia’ (27) and Mohammed (24). Dia’ and Mohammed were taken to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ahmed Mohammed Derbas’s (26) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services.
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Dirastia, north of Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 29 May 2020:

  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Dawoud Mousa al-Abbasi’s house and arrested his son Eissa (35). It should be noted that Eissa al-Abbasi is a former prisoner in the Israeli prisons for 10-years, and he was released before several hours.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint established near Bir al-Basha Gas Station, southwest of Jenin, arrested two students; Mohammed Emad Shawkat Sa’abneh (18), from Fahma village, and Mohammed Amjad Shibani (18), from ‘Arraba, southwest of Jenin. IOF arrested them a day before the high school final exams while they were in a red Hyundai car belonging to Mohammed, and they were taken to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 08:10, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint established at the eastern entrance of Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin, arrested Jihad Mohammed Turkman (30), from the village. IOF confiscated his motorcycle and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 09:30, IOF banned the Reconstruction Committee staff in Hebron’s Old City, from doing maintenance and repair work in the Ibrahimi Mosque claiming that they did not own a permit from the Israeli Authorities. It should be noted that the Department of Awqaf and Religious Affairs is the responsible authority for maintenance work, in coordination with the Hebron Reconstruction Committee.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF arrested Hanadi Mohammed al-Halawani (41), near Bab al-Asbat “Lions’ Gate”, which is one of al-Aqsa Mosque gates in Jerusalem, and took her to Bab al-Silsila “Chain Gate”. IOF investigated with al-Halawani for several hours and then released her on condition that ban her entry to al-Aqsa Mosque for a week and refer to them after two weeks to expand the period of previous decision.
  • At approximately 13:30, IOF moved into al-Sawana neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched ‘Akrama Sa’eed Abdullah Sabri’s (81) house, Head of the High Islamic Supreme Council and preacher of al-Aqsa Mosque, and took him to “al-Qashla” investigation center in West Jerusalem. At approximately 16:30, IOF released him after the investigation on condition that banning his entry to al-Aqsa Mosque for a week and refer again on Wednesday.
  • At approximately 13:35, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of Derastia village, south of Salfit, arrested Mohammed Khaldoun Ridwan (22), from Azoun village, east of Qalqilia.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into al-Thawri neighborhood, south of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Yehya al-Daqaq’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Tal village, southwest of Nablus, and Beit Dajan, northeast of Nablus. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 30 May 2020:

  • At approximately 23:00, Israeli infantry unit moved into Ein al-Lawza neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses and arrested two children; Mohammed Nihad Jaber (16) and Mohannad Ali al-Natsha (16).

Sunday, 31 May 2020:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Ein al-Lawza neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Abdul Men’em Jebril al-A’war’s (51) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into al-Ram village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched the guard of al-Aqsa Mosque’s house, Tareq Bassam Abu Sbaih (39), and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF arrested (5) civilians including 2 women, one of them is a journalist, while attempting to deport the Palestinian worshippers protesting the settlers’ invasions into the grounds of al-Aqsa Mosque.
  • The Islamic Awqaf Department noted that 233 settlers stormed the Aqsa Mosque via al-Maghareba Gate under a high protection by the IOF and Israeli officers. IOF arrested the Jerusalem journalist Sundos Abdul Rahman Abu Baker Owais (24) while she was documenting the settlers’ storming, despite showing her press card. IOF also arrested Ra’eda Sa’eed al-Khalili (44), Lo’ay Jaber (24), Ehab Abu Snaina (18), Fadi Zughayar, and Obada Samir Najeeb (22). It should be noted that the Israeli Authorities released the journalist Owais on condition that banned her entry to al-Aqsa Mosque for a week.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF stationed at Jaba’ military checkpoint, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Younis Ra’ed Mizher (21) while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.

Monday, 01 June 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Tabaqa village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Ahmed Salama Abu Ras (38) and Faker Sharif Abu Ras (24).
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Jamal al-Badawi (33) and Ateya Mahmoud al-Najjar (23).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Anbata, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Abdullah Mustafa Barakat (25) and Mohammed Saleem Hannoun (26) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qafin, north of Tulkarem. They raided and searched Nidal Arafat Khasib’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Ammer, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Khalil Eyad Bassam al-Za’aqiq (16) and Ameen Emad Mohammed al-Slaibi (17).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Shwaikla Suburb, east of Tulkarem. They raided and searched Samir Subhi Mohammed Mahdawi’s (16) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:20, IOF moved into Bil’in village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Hamza Thabit al-Khatib’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 05:20, IOF moved into al-Mazra’a al-Gharbeya, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians: Amro Mohammed Abu Qarea’ (19), Mohammed Rabah Hannoun (28), and his brother Ahmed (26). Rabah Hannoun, the father of Mohammed and Ahmed said that the Israeli Intelligence officer called him and ordered him to surrender his third son Mahmoud in Ofer detention in Betounya village, west of the city.
  • At approximately 07:15, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint established in the entrance of Salim village, northeast of Nablus, arrested (3) civilians including a child. The arrestees are: Mohammed Reyad Arayshi (20), Ayham Mustafa Arayshi (20), and Wael Hussam Abu Mustafa (17); all from Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into al-Sa’deya neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Rawhi Mahmoud al-Kalghasi (24) and Jehad Nassar Qaws (25) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 10:30, IOF arrested Khadija Mohammed Khwais (24) near Bab al-Asbat “Lions’ Gate”, which is one of al-Aqsa Mosque gates in Jerusalem, and took her to Bab al-Silsila “Chain Gate” police station. IOF investigated with her for several hours and then released her on condition that ban her entry to al-Aqsa Mosque for a week and refer to them after two weeks to expand the previous decision’s period.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin, and Sebastia, northwest of Nablus. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 02 June 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Issawiyah village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians including 2 children: Rawhi Ahmed al-Jayyar (13), Dia’ Ayman Obaid (24), Mahmoud Mohammed Mustafa (16), and Yasin Hasan Mustafa (19). And handed Mohammed Esmat Obaid (19) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Kobar village, north of Ramallah. They raided Khaldoun Rawhi al-Barghouthi’s (40) house and arrested him.it should be noted that the above-mentioned civilian is a former prisoner.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched Ahmed Yousef Awwad’s (45) house in al-Makhfeya neighborhood, southwest of the city and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Ein Beit al-Ma’ refugee camp, west of Nablus. They raided and searched Dawoud Waleed Abed Saleh’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:15, IOF moved into Bita village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Karam Eisa Dawoud (23) and Lo’ay Tayseer Dwaikat (19) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:20, IOF reinforced with three military vehicles, moved into Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched ‘Ahd Hazem al-Rimawi’s (18) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched Abdul Rahman Ahmed Ayyoub Aseeda’s (50) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Kafl Hares village, north of Salfit. They raided and searched 3 houses belonging to Khalil Fo’ad Abu Ya’qoub (22), Ali Mahmoud al-Qaq (20), and Islam Suliman Bouzeya (22), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:45, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched Fathi Mohammed al-‘Attoum’s (42) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Jabareet neighborhood, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched Khaled Suliman Fayez Abu Hasan’s (53) house and arrested him. It should be noted that Abu Hasan is the Reform and Change Bloc deputy in the Legislative Council, and he was dissolved by the Palestinian Authority.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of the city. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians: Mohammed Jamal al-Nabhan (20), a student in the Faculty of Dentistry at the American Arab University, Emad Jamal Abu al-Hija (32), and Mohammed Azmi al-Nasharti (28).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed As’ad Bader’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF arrested Eyad Saleh Mohammed Nofal (17), from Qalqilya, while investigating with him in the Israeli liaison office, after summonsing him several hours before of arresting him. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Hisham Nayef Ahmed Bushkar (21), from Askar al-Jadeed refugee camp, northeast of Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 21:40, IOF arrested Eyad Husni Abdul Naser (43), from al-Shwaika Suburb, north of Tulkarm, while investigating with him in the Israeli liaison office, after summonsing him several hours before of arresting him.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Burham, Deir Ghasana, and Kafr Ein villages in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 03 June 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Issawiyah village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Haitham Mustafa’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Tamoun village, southeast of Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Ne’man Naser Bani Awda’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Fare’a refugee camp, southeast of Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Zakareya Fayez Jameel Awad’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Silwad, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mousa Ahmed Hamed’s (26) house and arrested him. It should be noted that the above-mentioned civilian was previously imprisoned by Israel.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Qitna village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ashraf Ibrahim Hasan Shamasna’s (37) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into al- Issawiyah village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Mousa Darwish’s (65) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Doa’ Ramadan Kamel Arafa (21), from Izbit Shofa, south of Tulkarem, while passing through the checkpoint. It should be noted that she is a student at the Faculty of Economics at Palestine Technical University / Kadoorie, and she was taken to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF arrested Khattab Ala’ al-Sharbati (16) while present near Bab Hatta, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s Gates in the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to an unknown destination.

3. Settlement Expansion and Settler Violence in the West Bank
a. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities

  • At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 28 May 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Tiba village, northwest of Hebron. IOF demolished 3 agricultural rooms, under the pretext of non-licensing. Israeli authorities notified to demolish the mentioned rooms on 19 May 2020, upon Article 4, of Military order No. (1797), issued in 2018, on the “removal” of a new structure. This order includes both uncompleted structures and structures completed within the last six months. Thus, a Palestinian living in the targeted areas are unable to take any legal action or challenge before the Israeli courts.The facilities demolished were as follows:Owner/Facility/Construction Materials/Area/Construction Year/Cost/Family members1. Wael Mohamed Salama Ja’afrah/agricultural room, bath room/Concrete and bricks/26.5 s.q/2018/NIS 25,000/12
    2. Ahmed Mohamed Salama al-‘Awiwi/agricultural room/Concrete and bricks/70 s.q/2018/NIS 50,000/4
    3. Raied Mohamed Salama Ja’afrah/agricultural room, bath room/Concrete and bricks/71.5 s.q/2018/NIS 45,000/5
  • On Thursday, 28 May 2020, Israeli authorities issued an order to confiscate a plot of land in Wadi al-Rababa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and use it as a cemetery for Jews. The neighborhood residents said that Israeli authorities issued an order to confiscate over 1.5 dunams belonging to al-‘Abasi family and others in order to use it as a cemetery for Jews. The Israeli authorities gave the affected Palestinians 2 weeks to challenge before the competent courts. The residents clarified that the Israel Nature and Antiquities Authorities started to build fake graves in Wadi al-Rababa years ago, especially that there are large areas of land and their owners are prohibited from building on or cultivating. Over the past years, the Israeli Municipality issued several confiscation orders against hundreds of dunums to establish settlement projects, such as the confiscation of 100 dunums to establish national park and the confiscation of other areas to establish tourist routes and bridges and connect al-Thawri neighborhood with al-Nabi Dawad area.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Thursday, 28 May 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Naqqar area, west of al-Tira village, southwest of Ramallah. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed 5 demolition notice for 3 under-construction houses and wooden huts, under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.The notified facilities belong to:1. Shareef Ibrahim ‘Ali Hameed, an inhabited 160-square-meter house sheltering 8 members, including 4 children.
    2. Osama Ahmed Isma’il, a 100-square-meter house sheltering 8 members, including 6 children.
    3. Ahmed Yoused Sa’ied, foundations of an under-construction house.
    4. Mostafa ‘Abed Mostafa, a wooden hut.
    5. ‘Ali Ahmed Daib, a wooden hut.
  • On Thursday, 28 May 2020, Israeli authorities stop construction works in a house in ‘Artas village, south of Bethlehem. Atras village council stated that, IOF moved into Solomon’s tourist pools area and stopped construction works in Omar Mostafa ‘Odah’s house , under the pretext of non-licensing. The council added that IOF detained 4 workers and threatened the excavator owner Saied Abu Sawi to surrender himself along with the excavator.
  • On Friday, 29 May 2020, IOF ordered to stop working on a road rehabilitation project in Rashaida village, east of Bethlehem. Rashaida village council stated that IOF ordered workers at the site to immediately stop working, under the pretext of being an Israeli-controlled area, or otherwise the workers will being arrested and their equipment confiscated.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Friday, Fares al-Khales implemented the Israeli Municipality order and self-demolished his under-construction house in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Al-Khales said that before starting the construction, he headed to the Israeli Municipality, but it refused to grant him a construction license because there are no structural maps that respond to the natural increase in the number of the local residents, and for that reason, there are no house licenses. Al-Khales clarified that he decided to build his unlicensed 110-square-meter house, but a short period later, the municipality inspectors came to the house and handed him a notice to self-demolish his house or the municipality staff will do so and force him to pay the demolition costs. Al-Khales rented construction vehicle and self-demolished his house.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Sunday, 31 May 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbet Bereen, southwest of Bani Na’iem village, east of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers distributed final demolition notices for houses and an institution building, under the pretext of non-licensing. On 23 January 2020, Israeli authorities distributed notices to stop construction works in Palestinians houses, village council building and 2 water wells in Bereen village, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. These notifications issued by the “Civil Administration – Supreme Organizing Council – Inspection Subcommittee” stated that these buildings were “constructed without a license”, called on their owners to “immediately stop construction work” and set (2/22/2020) as the date to hold the Inspection Subcommittee session in the settlement “Beit Eill” to decide either demolish the building or return it to its previous status.The distributed notices were as follows:affected person/ facility/ Area/ Construction Materials/ Family members/ Construction year1. Basheer ‘Abed al-Ghani Ibrahim Burqan/ house/ 40 s.q/ Bricks and tin plates/ 11/ 2017
    2. Noor ‘Abed al-Ghani ‘Abed al-Rahman Burqan/ house/ 70 s.q/ Bricks and tin plates/ 1/ 2017
    3. Noor ‘Abed al-Ghani ‘Abed al-Rahman Burqan/ Water well/ 150 s.q/ 1/ 2017
    4. Samer Mahmoud Burqan/ house/ 100 s.q/ Concrete/ 10/
    5. Samer Mahmoud Burqan/ Water well/ 100 s.q/ 10/
    6. The village council building/ Services center/ 40 s.q/ Bricks and tin plates/ -/ 2017
    7. ‘Ata Na’iem Ibrahim Burqan/ house/ 120 s.q/ Concrete/ 7/ 2017
  • On the same day, Israeli authorities notified to vacate at around 200 commercial and industiral facilities in Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and gave their owners until the end of 2020. Kamal ‘Obeidat, head of the Jerusalem’s Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the demolition orders targeting 200 facilities, including restaurants, recreational centers and car repair shops located in one of the liveliest areas, were issued with the approval of Israel’s so-called planning and building committee. ‘Obeidat added that the decision aims at taking over the only Palestinian-owned industrial area in occupied East Jerusalem in order to further Judaize the holy city, alter its identity and destroy the Palestinian economy, forcing Jerusalemites deal with the Israeli industrial areas. According to an Israeli report, broadcast on Israeli channel (12), the Israeli Planning and Building Committee aims to remove the industrial area in the Wadi al-Joz neighborhood, and establish special technology buildings (high-tech), huge commercial complexes, and large restaurants on an area of 250,000 square meters. The report indicated that some of the buildings that will be built, will comprise of 16 floors.
  • On Monday, 01 June 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbet ‘Allan, north of al-Jeftlik area, north of Jericho. IOF were deployed in the area, where they raided and searched 3 houses. The Israeli Civil Administration officers dismantled Moneer Nasasrah and Ibrahim Salem’s 30 water irrigation networks and confiscated them. IOF also arrested 5 civilians identified as Ameen Fayiz ‘Anoud (35), Jum’a Mohamed al-Jahaleen (23), and Anwar Mahmoud Abu Juda (50) along with his 2 sons Raied (26) and Jehad (29). IOF confiscated Anwar Juda ‘s 2 bulldozers and ‘Abed al-Raheem Itrimat’s agricultural tractor and a water well.
  • At approximately 21:00 on Monday, 01 June 2020, Majed Mohamed Suliman Ja’abees implemented the municipality order and self-demolished his house located in al-Mukaber Mount area, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Ja’abees said that the Israeli police refused to give him few days to self-demolish his house and insisted to implement the demolition within 2 days. Ja’abees clarified that the building is comprised of 2 houses built in an area of 160 square meter 6 months ago. The houses were sheltering his family comprised of 7 members and his brother’s family comprised of 4 members. Ja’abees added that he paid NIS 15,000 for the lawyer in an attempt to stop the demolition, but in vain. Ja’abees pointed out that he was forced to self-demolish his house to avoid paying the demolition costs estimated at NIS 70,000 for the Israeli municipality staff.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 02 June 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Municipality staff moved into Torbet Sawarha area in al-Mukaber Mount, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They imposed a security cordon on 2 under construction houses belonging to Mohamed and Taher Ibrahim al-Za’atrah and prevented anyone from approach the area. IOF and municipality staff demolished the houses, under the pretext of non-licensing. Mohamed Za’atrah said that he was shocked when IOF raided their houses and demolished them, pointing out that he and his brother built the 250-square-meter houses in April 2019. It should be noted that Israeli municipality staff escalated their attacks against al-Mukaber Mount area, as they distributed 27 notices in the last week to demolish residential and commercial facilities.Since the beginning of 2019 until now, over 80 residential and commercial facilities and retaining walls were demolished by IOF. Also, it should be noted that the residents of al-Mukaber Mount area like the inhabitants of the rest of the Arab neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem, are deprived of licensing, expanding and renovating their houses. The Palestinian citizen in occupied East Jerusalem submits an application for the Israeli Municipality to obtain a license and waits for many years. During which, he is forced to pay high financial sums and eventually most of these applications are rejected.
    Around the same time, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Dir al-‘Asal village, west of Dura, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers hanged demolition notices issued by the Military Commander of the Judea and Samaria Region on 2 houses, under the pretext of construction near the annexation wall.The notices were as follows:1. Fayiz Hasan Shawamrah’s 150-square-meter under-construction house comprised of one floor
    2. Saddam Fawzi Hasan Shawamrah’s 180-square-meter under-construction house comprised of 2 floors
  • On Tuesday,02 June 2020, ‘Alaa Ahmed Ibrahim Burqan implemented the Israeli municipality order and self-demolished his house in al-Mukaber Mount area, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Burqan said that on Sunday, the Israeli District Court issued a demolition order against his house, so he was forced to self-demolish it to avoid paying the demolition costs estimated at NIS 10,000 for the municipality staff. Burqan clarified that after a long struggle with the Israeli Municipality for 4 years, he failed to stop the demolition order. Burqan added that in 2017, the Israeli Municipality imposed a fine of NIS 70,000 on him and he is still paying it, however this does not nullify the decision to demolish.
  • At approximately 12:00 on Tuesday, 02 June 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers and worker moved into al-Khan area in the south-eastern side of al-Laban al-Sharqiyia village. IOF along with the workers dismantled 4 barracks, 52 solar cells, 12 tables, 5 tons of barley, and 3 tons of feed belonging to ‘Abed al-Baset Tayseer Mostafa Nobani, under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.
  • On Tuesday, 02 June 2020, Na’iem Salah Farrah implemented the Israeli Municipality order and self-demolished a part of his house in Beit Hanina neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Farrah said that he was forced to self-demolish a part of his house, pointing out that he attempted several times to license it by the Israeli Municipality, but in vain. Farrah clarified that it was the 3rd time that Israeli Municipality staff demolished his house, saying that: ” I built a house 20 years ago, all the neighborhood’s residents and I submitted applications to obtain licenses for our houses and we paid heavy fines for the Israeli municipality. Nineteen years later, the municipality staff came and demolished my house and its rubbles still remain in the area. I lost my apartment that sheltered my family comprising of 11 members.” He added: ” when my son decided to get married, I built an additional room for him, but yesterday (Monday) the municipality staff came, hanged a demolition order on the room and gave me two days to self-demolish it or I will pay the demolition costs for the municipality staff.”
  • At approximately 14:30 on Tuesday, 02 June 2020, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished Ahmed Abu Diab’s house in Karm al-Shaiekh neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Member of the Silwan Lands Defense Committee, Khaled Abu Tayeh, said that the Israeli municipality staff accompanied with police officers moved into Karm al-Shaiekh neighborhood in Silwan village and surrounded the area. They then vacated Ahmed Abu Diab’s house contents to demolish it. Abu Tayeh clarified that Diab’s house was built 8 years ago aknd he attempted to license it several times and managed to freeze demolition orders issued against his house several time. The latest of these attempts was on 05 May 2020, as he managed to stop a demolition order and tried to obtain another extension, but on Thursday evening, he was shocked when Israeli municipality staff raided his house and demolished it. Abu Tayeh pointed out that the house sheltered 7 persons, including 5 children, and they became homeless. Abu Tayeh emphasized that Israeli authorities recently escalated demolition operations and forced Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem to self-demolish their houses, in an attempt to displace them and implement settlement plans. It should be noted that Israeli municipality ordered 11 Jerusalemites families in al-Mukaber Mount area and Silwan village to self-demolish their houses, so the latter were forced to implement the demolition order to avoid paying demolition costs for the municipality staff.
  • On Tuesday, Israeli bulldozers, under the IOF protection, built a road between Palestinians lands in Taqou’a village, east of Bethlehem, under the pretext that this road will be used for military purposes. As a result, Palestinians’ properties and dozens of trees sustained material damage. Taqou’a village residents emphasized that the building of this road comes in the context of the ongoing settlement plan aims at expanding the settlement’s borders, claiming that it was for military purposes.
  • At approximately 07:00 on Wednesday, 03 June 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Dir Hajlah residential compound in eastern Jericho. The Israeli military construction vehicles demolished 6 residential barracks built of tin plates and iron pipes; each one built on an area of 30 square meters. IOF brought workers to dismantle 3 water tanks, 2 fridges, 4 air conditioners, panels and electric wires, and confiscated them under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. It should be noted that IOF distributed the eviction orders on 21 February 2020 and moved into Hajlah residential compound to conduct the demolition without a prior warning.The demolished facilities, property of Ibrahim Salem Abu Dahouk and his sons, were as follows:1. Ibrahim Salem Saleh Abu Dahouk: 2 barracks sheltering 6 members, including a child and his 2 wives, were demolished
    2. Naser Ibrahim Abu Dahouk: a barrack sheltering 5 children and his wife, was demolished
    3. Ahmed Ibrahim Abu Dahouk, a barrack sheltering a child and his wife, was demolished
    4. Mohamed Yousef Abu Dahouk, a barrack sheltering 2 children and his wife, was demolished
    5. Nasrah Naser Abu Dahouk, a barrack sheltering was demolished
  • At approximately 08:30 on Wednesday, 03 June 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Markaz, al-Fakhit and al-Mofaqarah villages located in al-Masafer area, which is classified by the Israeli occupation authorities as a buffer zone under the pretext of being a “Firing Zone 918”, as per the Israel Ministry of Defense. IOF were deployed between Palestinians’ houses while military construction vehicles demolished 4 residential rooms, 4 residential tents and 2 livestock barns.The demolition was as follows:affected person/Facility/Construction Materials/Area/Family members1. Sameer Moahmed Ragheb Hoshieh/residential room/Sheds and iron angles/30 s.q/ 4
    2. Sameer Moahmed Ragheb Hoshieh/Livestock barn/Sheds, stones and iron pipes/100 s.q/4
    3. Belal Mohamed Ragheb Hoshieh/residential room/Bricks and tin plates/ 30 s.q/ 11
    4. Mo’ath Mohamed Ragheb Hoshieh/residential room/Bricks and tin plates/ 30 s.q/5
    5. Mo’ath Mohamed Ragheb Hoshieh/Livestock barn/Stones, sheds and iron angles/100 s.q/5
    6. ‘Anan Mohamed Hoshieh/residential room/Bricks and tin plates/ 30 s.q/ 3
    7. ‘Emad Mohamed Hoshieh/residential tent/sheds and iron angles/ 30 s.q/ 10
    8. Khadijah Ahmed ‘Abed Rabu/residential room/ Bricks and tin plates/30 s.q/ 1
    9. Ahmed Mahmoud Hamamdah/residential tent/sheds and iron angles 30 s.q/ 2
    10. Jameel Mahmoud A’mar/residential tent/sheds and iron angles 30 s.q/ 2

b. Israeli Settler Violence

  • At approximately 10:00 on Saturday, 30 May 2020, Israeli settlers, from ” Beit Romano” settlement outpost, which is established in central Hebron, threw rubbish at Palestinians while walking on the street.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 01 June 2020, 2 Israeli settlers, from “Sosiya” settlement, which is established on Palestinians confiscated lands in southern Yatta, attacked Mahmoud Jehad Ibrahim Abu Subiha (20), from Minizel village, while present in his land. Abu Subiha was beaten at gunpoint and the settlers attempted to run-over him through their vehicle. The Israeli police arrived at the area and arrested Abu Subiha, taking him to a police station in “Kiryat Arba” settlement, east of Hebron. Abu Subiha was bailed out NIS 500 until holding the court hearing on 02 November 2020.
  • On Tuesday, 02 June 2020, Israeli settlers, under IOF protection, expelled Palestinian farmers from their lands in Kisan village, east of Bethlehem. Ahmed Ghazal, the village council’s deputy head, said that Israeli settlers, from “ Eli Hanhail ” and ” Maale Amos ” settlement, expelled Palestinians farmers from their lands while plowing them, under the pretext that they should obtain a permit to enter their lands. Ghazal pointed out that farmers can no longer enter their lands amidst the settlers’ threats. It should be noted that Kisan village is recently exposed to IOF and settlers’ attacks; the latest of which was: opening fire at a checkpoint belonging to the Palestinian security services and stopping construction works on a street leading to al-Rashida village and confiscating all equipment.

Quds Day: Reminder of Palestinian struggle

By Salman Parviz

May 21, 2020 – 14:5

Originating in Iran with the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini declared the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as Quds Day with the aim of forging unity among the Muslims and Arab nations so that they will unanimously express their backing for the Palestinian nation each year.

To mark the occasion amid the novel coronavirus pandemic the International Quds Day Conference was held online May 18 and 19.

This year’s Quds Day has special significance in the denunciation of the so-called “Deal of the Century” and proposed annexation of Jordan Valley and occupied West Bank, a display of shocking disregard for international law. The deal has given green light to Israeli sovereignty on the illegal settlements built since the 1967 war, which is now colonized by more than 600,000 Israeli Jews.

Protests in the region on May 15 marked the 72nd anniversary of the Nakba or “catastrophe”, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced into exile following creation of the Zionist state in 1948. It was another opportunity to denounce the policies of U.S. President D. Trump’s ultra-right policies and alliance with Israel.

While successive U.S. presidents and administrations have supported Israel, none has done as much in such a short time to embolden its right-wing settler-led colonialist government than Trump whose administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017, stalling the road map for a two-state solution.

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner worked closely with former U.S. special envoy for the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, to design the “Deal of the Century”. The plan was announced in January after several months of delay. What Palestinians saw as a “surrender note”, referred in one of the Tehran Times’ headlines as the “Highway to Hell” and what many consider “Heist of the Century”.

After three inconclusive elections in the Zionist state a three-year power-sharing agreement was announced in April which allows Netanyahu first bite at leading before handing power to Benny Gantz. At the heart of that agreement is the illegal annexation of large swathes of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley and the Northern Dead Sea.

Israel is 21st century’s Middle East version of apartheid-era South Africa, the only remaining apartheid state where Palestinians remain, at best, second class citizens in Israel, under occupation in Gaza, East Jerusalem and West Bank.

Of historical significance is the plight of residents of Gaza Strip. In January 2006, Hamas won a sweeping majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections ending more than 40 years of domination by Fatah, the political faction built by the late Yasir Arafat.

Following the elections U.S., EU and Canada cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority despite Canada having helped to facilitate and monitor the elections. Worth mentioning is that the Israel-Hezbollah conflict ensued during the summer of 2006.

Gaza Strip was put under Israeli and Egyptian blockade in 2007 when the Hamas resistance movement started controlling the enclave. As a result of Israel’s stifling measures the UN has warned in the past that the Gaza Strip would become “uninhabitable” by 2020.

More than two million people cramped up in a 362 square kilometer area, deprived of their fundamental human rights including freedom of movement. Under strict air, sea and ground siege imposed by Israel and Egypt for the last thirteen years, Gaza Strip is considered the largest open-air prison in the world.

This prison verdict is backed by international community, mainly the Western powers and the U.S. During the siege the coastal enclave has undergone three major Israeli offensives.

Today around 6.5 million Palestinians live abroad as refugees or members of the diaspora.

Quds day is a reminder of the plight of Palestinian people.
 

RELATED NEWS

The Oslo process was a trap from which the Palestinians never escaped: ex-UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine

Source

By M.A. Saki

TEHRAN- Richard Anderson Falk, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and former UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine, says “the Oslo process was a trap from which the Palestinians never escaped”.
“Indeed, the dynamics of this Oslo period from 1993 until the start of the Trump presidency in 2017 was to raise Israeli expectations with respect to its maximal territorial ambitions,” Falk tells the Tehran Times in an exclusive interview.
Here is the full text of the exclusive interview:
Q: As a UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine your reports revealed many facts about the Israeli settlement policies, its apartheid approach, and so on. Your efforts in this regard are commendable. To what extent did these reports have a practical impact on Israeli policies?
A: My period as UN Special Rapporteur to Palestine was between 2008 and 2014. During that time Israel carried out massive attacks on Gaza in 2008-09, 2012, and 2014, while expanding the archipelago of its unlawful settlements on the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and blocking any realistic process of a political compromise in the context of the Oslo Peace Process. I mention these negative developments as background for responding to your question about whether my reports had any ‘practical impact on Israeli policies.’ I would have to acknowledge that I could not identify any positive impact on Israeli practices and policies, especially in relation to its efforts to pursue its expansionist ambitions with regard to the control of Palestinian territory and its non-Jewish inhabitants or its unabashed defiance of international law and UN authority.
A more promising Palestinian strategy, additional to continuing acts and displays of resistance, is to encourage pressures mounted by the global solidarity movement including at the UN. Such campaigns can gain inspiration from the South African worldwide anti-apartheid movement, which overcame seemingly insurmountable odds to achieve an unexpected, mostly bloodless, victory over racism in the form of a nonviolent transition to multi-racial constitutional democracy.It seems that the heightening of criticism of Israel’s behavior by myself and others did encourage Israel’s new approach, which abandoned defending itself against allegations of unlawfulness and criminality, and instead mobilizing energy and devoting resources to defaming critics, and doing its best to discredit, and even criminalize support for the BDS Campaign and other global solidarity initiatives as the Free Gaza Campaign. This Israeli pushback culminated in the widespread adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism that deliberately conflated hatred of Jews as a people with criticism of Israel as the State of the Jewish people. It is ironic that this regressive move has been most influential in countries such as the U.S., UK, and Germany that pride themselves on being the most respected constitutional democracies the world has known since ancient Athens, and yet when it comes to Israel the right of free expression and nonviolent protest are violated with official approval.
I believe my reports did have some beneficial impact on the discourse within the UN itself (including civil society NGOs), and on the understanding of the diplomatic community, with respect to four distinct aspects of Israeli behavior: 1) Understanding the settler colonial character of Israel’s domination and dispossession of the Palestinian people; 2) The de facto annexationist aspects of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem carried out in violation of international humanitarian law; 3) The unsupportable character of prolonged belligerent occupation, the abusive nature of which is not addressed by international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions and Protocols; 4) The apartheid character of Israel’s Jewish State, not only in relation to the occupation of the territory acquired in the 1967 War but in relation to the Palestinian people as a whole, including refugees and involuntary exiles, the minority living in pre-1967 Israel, and those in Gaza after Israel’s ‘disengagement’ of 2005.
I gave particular attention in my reports to the daily injustices associated with prolonged occupation of Palestinian territories, which had not attracted much prior attention, although my successor as SR, Michael Lynk, has carried my arguments further and to their logical conclusion that the occupation must be ended by judicial and political action at the international level. The legally, morally, and politically problematic character of ‘prolonged occupation,’ especially as combined in this with a denial of all civil and political rights to the residents of the occupied Palestinian territories and subversive of underlying Palestinian sovereignty as evidenced by UN recognition of Palestine in 2012 as a non-voting member State in the UN.
I believe that my reports helped in small ways to change the discourse and perceptions of civil society activists as well as of many members of the diplomatic community who privately conveyed to me their agreement with my analysis. The reports also brought up to date the lawlessness of Israel’s behavior with respect to the settlements, the separation wall, and reliance on excessive force, most pronouncedly in Gaza, which figured in the way the media and public opinion understood the competing arguments being put forward by Israel and Palestine, and seemed of some use to governments in formulating their approach to the underlying conflict.
Q: One of your reports on Israel was removed from the UN website under pressure from the United States and Israel. What was the content of the report, and why was there so much sensitivity about it?
A: My report was temporarily removed from the UN website in either 2009 or 2010, but interestingly, not at the initiative of either Israel or the United States, but by the Palestinian Authority, which represents Palestine at the UN. Their sole objection to my text was its acknowledgment of Hamas as the administering authority of Gaza, ineffective control of the governing process, reflecting both through its electoral victory in the 2006 elections in Gaza and as a result of the expulsion of Fatah forces associated with the Palestinian Authority during the following year.
What is worse (during the Oslo process), the Palestinians went along with their own entrapment, somehow thinking that they would be rewarded by their cooperative attitudes.It was the mere mention of Hamas that disturbed and agitated the PA to the point of seeking my resignation as SR, especially after I criticized aspects of the PA administration of the West Bank and their surprising controversial support of Israeli and U.S demands that the UN disregard the recommendations of the Goldstone Report that had been critical of Israel’s violation of the Laws of War during Operation Cast Lead, its devastating military attack on Gaza that started at the end of 2008 and lasted for several weeks in January 2009. After failing to oust me from my position, the PA shifted its tone and posture, and for the remaining years of my mandate was cooperative, and did not subsequently object to my reports even when the role of Hamas was discussed.
Q: You have repeatedly criticized Israel’s policies and considered the peace process as a hoax. Why do you think this process is a hoax?
A: Maybe the word ‘hoax’ overstates my view, which was that the peace process as structured and implemented greatly favored Israel, discriminated against Palestine to such an extent that it was naïve to expect a sustainable and just peace to emerge from such one-sided diplomacy. This basic imbalance was evident in a number of respects. Above all, the framework for negotiations was seriously flawed by giving the United States, an overt and unconditional supporter of Israel, the inappropriate role of intermediary or ‘honest broker.’ This flaw exhibited itself by diplomats and staff representing the United States in the course of the Oslo process often being closely identified with the Zionist Movement, including being drawn from former employees of the pro-Israeli extremist lobbying group AIPAC. Such partisanship also explained the U.S. pressure on the Palestinian negotiating team not to object to settlement expansion or press other legal grievances as such objections would disrupt the peace process, insisting that such issues be left unresolved until ‘final status’ negotiations occurred at the last stage of the process, which was never reached. This pressure to mute international law objections to Israeli expansionism was perversely coupled with Washington’s acceptance of ‘facts on the ground’ as taking precedence over legal objections to the settlements, in effect, punishing Palestinians for following the advice to defer objections. This play of arguments reveals the entrapment of the Palestinians by the Oslo process—instead of insisting to Israel to freeze settlement activity to safeguard the diplomatic prospects, it exerted pressure on the Palestinians to suppress their objections to Israeli unlawful behavior, which by its nature, threatened reaching a two-state compromise. What is worse, the Palestinians went along with their own entrapment, somehow thinking that they would be rewarded by their cooperative attitudes.
The framework for negotiations was seriously flawed by giving the United States, an overt and unconditional supporter of Israel, the inappropriate role of intermediary or ‘honest broker.’The Oslo process was a trap from which the Palestinians never escaped, and ended up worsening Palestinian prospects as well as inflicting additional torments, including the frequency and viciousness of settler violence directed at Palestinian residents of the West Bank. Indeed, the dynamics of this Oslo period from 1993 until the start of the Trump presidency in 2017 was to raise Israeli expectations with respect to its maximal territorial ambitions, and to depress Palestinian hopes of reaching a political compromise in the form of the co-existence of separate sovereign states enjoying equal standing in international society. It became evident, as well, that Israeli internal politics drifted steadily to the right, partly reflecting the increasingly leverage of the settler movement. These developments made it increasingly clear that a two-state political compromise was no longer seen by the Israeli leadership as an expedient goal. In effect, it was no longer necessary to hide the Israeli belief that the West Bank, known in Israel by its biblical names of Judea and Samaria, was an integral element of the entitlement of the Jewish people to the land of Palestine as interpreted by mainstream Zionism as ‘the promised land.’ Some Zionists, attached to the ‘democratic’ claim attached to Israel’s political identity, worried that annexing the West Bank would explode a demographic bomb that would make it impossible to hide the apartheid nature of the Israeli state.
Q: U.S. President Donald Trump has now proposed a so-called Deal of the Century, and Israel is seeking to annex the West Bank. How do you evaluate this process?
A: As the occupation continued, and Israel’s annexationist moves met with only token international resistance, there was a noticeable shift in the outlook of Netanyahu, the dominant Israeli political figure of the period, from an international posture favoring political compromise to an outcome reached unilaterally in the form of an imposed Israeli one-state solution. When Trump arrived in the White House in early 2017 this shift for the first time enjoyed the explicit geopolitical support of the U.S. government, and need no longer be hidden from view. In this atmosphere Israel moved to affirm its claims to most of the promised land, and relinquished any attachment to ‘peace’ through negotiations, even negotiations biased in their favor.
The Trump Plan, whether known as ‘the deal of the century’ by its official name of ‘From Peace to Prosperity’ gives its seal of approval to the Israel vision of a one-state solution, slightly disguised by designating areas set aside for Palestinian administration as ‘a State,’ what was correctly associated with the Bantustans established by the apartheid regime in South Africa to hide the ugliest features of racist domination and exploitation.
The Trump Plan, whether known as ‘the deal of the century’ by its official name of ‘From Peace to Prosperity’ gives its seal of approval to the Israel vision of a one-state solution, slightly disguised by designating areas set aside for Palestinian administration as ‘a State,’ what was correctly associated with the Bantustans established by the apartheid regime in South Africa to hide the ugliest features of racist domination and exploitation. As is now known to the world, even the PA was unable to treat the Trump Plan as a serious negotiating proposal, correctly dismissing it as a blueprint for the Israeli one-state victory scenario. Israeli plans to annex a large portion of the West Bank by de jure enactment, on the basis of a green light from Washington, seems likely to be implemented in coming months, although opposed by some prominent security officials in Israel and even by maximalist Zionists on the grounds either of imperiling the Jewish demographic majority or provoking a surge of renewed Arab and international support for Palestinian grievances, and perhaps a trigger for a third intifada.
It should be internationally understood that the Trump Plan lacks any respectable international backing, and as such is in no way deserving of respect at the UN or elsewhere. It is an extremely partisan and arrogant set of proposals that are inconsistent with international law, the UN consensus, and elementary morality. Rather than being seriously considered, it should be summarily dismissed as an irrelevant geopolitical attempt to deny the Palestinian people of their inalienable right of self-determination.
Q: May 15 marked the 72nd anniversary of the establishment of Israel, and all through these years Israel has been supported by countries such as the United States and Britain. It is also noticeable that countries are consenting to Israel’s occupation. Please explain?
A: The core rationale of support for Israel over the years has changed. Back when Israel was established in 1948 the public mood was shaped by the experience of World War II, including an acute sense of guilt on the part of liberal democracies in the West as having done so little to oppose Nazi racism toward Jews. From the start of the Zionist Project in the late 19th century anti-Semitic governments in Europe oddly shared the goal of Zionists of inducing Jews to leave their countries, and were eager to encourage emigration to Palestine. These attitudes underlay the 1917 colonialist initiative of the UK, known to the world as the Balfour Declaration, by which Britain pledged to look with favor on the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine although the Jewish minority was less than 8% and the Arab majority was never consulted. The more politically active personalities in Palestine opposed the idea of a Jewish homeland in their midst from the beginning. In that sense, Western support rested on these rather weak moral foundations that were not even consistent with regional strategic interests such as access to (Persian) Gulf oil reserves, trade routes, and leverage in the post-Ottoman Arab world. Zionism in Palestine turned against its British backer when Arab unrest in the 1930s led to some limits being imposed on Jewish immigration to Palestine, and the more militant Zionist militias started an ‘anti-colonial’ war in Palestine despite themselves being colonists. Of course, this was not so unusual in the British experience, having their earlier memories of the American Revolutionary War waged by their own colonists to gain political independence.
This hostile propaganda (against Palestinians), popularized by Hollywood movies demonizing Arabs and glorifying Israelis, bestowed on Israel the political space to impose an apartheid structure of control over the Palestinian people as a whole, and to avoid any international accountability relating to its defiance of international law beyond token expressions of disapproval from European capitals and Washington whenever Israel’s provocations could not be entirely ignored.
In Palestine, as elsewhere, British divide and rule tactics during its administration of Palestine between the two world wars suggested to the UN that partition, again without consulting the smaller, yet still Arab majority, was the solution, which in turn sparked a series of regional wars, culminating in the 1967 War. In that war Israel demonstrated its military prowess, and was no longer regarded by American policymakers as a troublesome burden of conscience for the United States, but was seen as a reliable strategic ally in a turbulent region, and Israel has remained reliable over the course of the last fifty years. All in all, Israel made this unusual transition from being a burden of conscience to becoming a geopolitical junior, often not so junior, partner of the United States. In the process of a string of military defeats of the Arab countries by Israel, especially the 1973 War, there was a gradual weakening of regional support for the liberation of Palestine, and more of an Arab elite disposition to normalize the presence of Israel, and more recently join in an implicit coalition confronting Iran with the lead role being assumed by the U.S., a result of Trump’s tightening regional alignments with Israel and Saudi Arabia during the last four years. The Jewish diaspora also provided a major source of Zionist pro-Israeli leverage around the world, first, in the post-Holocaust context, and after 1967, in the course of celebrating Israel’s military successes and modernizing record of achievement.
Throughout the process, the native Palestinian population was Orientalized, denigrated as ‘backward’ and inclined toward ‘terrorism.’ This hostile propaganda, popularized by Hollywood movies demonizing Arabs and glorifying Israelis, bestowed on Israel the political space to impose an apartheid structure of control over the Palestinian people as a whole, and to avoid any international accountability relating to its defiance of international law beyond token expressions of disapproval from European capitals and Washington whenever Israel’s provocations could not be entirely ignored. Although Israel has benefitted over the decades from American aid and support and European less blatant support, Israeli leadership has always had a Plan B. Israel, sought by every means to be self-reliant with respect to its security, highlighted by its covert acquisition and development of a nuclear weapons arsenal. In this sense, unless there are important shifts in the outlook of Arab governments (although not among the captive populations), even the withdrawal of U.S. support, which seems highly unlikely, would not make Israel much more vulnerable to external pressures.
Q: Based on the realities on the ground, it seems that the only way for the Palestinian people to get their rights is to resist the Israeli occupation. What is your opinion?
A: In view of the considerations discussed above, the most opportune Palestinian strategy would be to give up hopes under present conditions for reaching a satisfactory solution through diplomacy or at the UN. A more promising Palestinian strategy, additional to continuing acts and displays of resistance, is to encourage pressures mounted by the global solidarity movement including at the UN. Such campaigns can gain inspiration from the South African worldwide anti-apartheid movement, which overcame seemingly insurmountable odds to achieve an unexpected, mostly bloodless, victory over racism in the form of a nonviolent transition to multi-racial constitutional democracy.
The UN should not be forgotten. It remains a crucial site of struggle in waging what I have in the past referred to as ‘the legitimacy war’ fought to gain control of world public opinion, as well the high ground of public morality and international law. It should be appreciated that since 1945 the side that prevailed in the legitimacy war, rather than the side that controlled the battlefield, usually achieved political victory in the end. Gandhi appreciated the role of international public opinion in changing the balance of forces in India against the British Empire as did Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam in leading the defeat of overwhelmingly superior American military capabilities. Each conflict has unique characteristics, but the Palestinian struggle, despite present difficulties, can draw hope from the historical record of liberation and self-determination struggles of the past 75 years, and it is winning the legitimacy war, despite the Zionist defamatory pushback.

Iran Calls for World’s Action against ‘Israeli’ Occupation of Palestine

Iran Calls for World’s Action against ‘Israeli’ Occupation of Palestine

By Staff, Agencies

The Islamic Republic of Iran reiterated full support for Palestinians against the Tel Aviv regime’s atrocities, calling on Muslim nations and the entire world community to take immediate and practical steps towards putting an end to the decades-long ‘Israeli’ occupation.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry released a statement on Thursday, on the eve of Nakba Day [Catastrophe], when back in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homeland and the ‘Israeli’ regime proclaimed existence.

“72 years ago, on this day, the Zionist immigrants massacred people of the land of Palestine — including men, women, the youth, the elderly and innocent children — and forced them out of their homes while using deviant and racist ideas and thoughts as a pretext. [That is how] the Palestinian land and the entire West Asia were afflicted with Zionist Nakba,” the statement read.

Palestinians mark Nakba Day on May 15, a day after the occupying regime declared existence.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry described Nakba Day as the starting point of ‘Israeli’ crimes against the true owners of Palestine, including building settlements, further displacing Palestinians, desecrating the al-Aqsa Mosque, maintaining a crippling siege on Gaza, and annexing the occupied side of Syria’s Golan Heights.

The statement also censured new US-backed attempts by the ‘Israeli’ regime to annex more Palestinian land.

The ministry, relatively, expressed Iran’s “full solidarity” with the Palestinian cause, rejecting a “humiliating” peace plan drawn up by the administration of US President Donald Trump to end the ‘Israeli’-Palestinian conflict.

It also emphasized that international bodies, especially the United Nations, need to shoulder their responsibility and “set the stage for the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland and a referendum joined by the true inhabitants of this land — including Muslims, Christians and Jews — so they can exercise the right to decide their own fate and form an independent Palestinian government with holy Quds as [the state’s] capital.”

The “Zionist Virus” and the Future of Palestine

New York Governor Cuomo, the Virus, the Nakba and Me

By Rima Najjar

Global Research, May 13, 2020

To me, an American-Palestinian, the world tainted by the corona virus is analogous to Israel tainted by the evil it contains.

Every day for the past few days, I have been listening to New York Governor Cuomo give his daily briefing on the virus. His words resonate with me eerily transforming themselves to advice on how to handle Israel’s cruel manifestation in Palestine as a Zionist Jewish apartheid colonial state. As talk of “re-opening” the New York increases in volume, so does my feverish imagination.

For those who don’t know, the Arabic word “Fateh” [فتح], the name of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, which is the political bloc now dominating the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank, means “opening”. It also carries the meaning of “conquering”. What’s more, “Fateh” and “key” [مفتاح], that profoundly indicative word of Palestinian longing for return, have the same linguistic root in Arabic. Hence, all these unbidden associations in my mind as I listen to Cuomo.

Every day, I wait for Cuomo’s briefing impatiently and watch while perched, tense and hyper-alert, at the edge of my seat, mesmerized by the shifting lines of his charts that, I swear, often morph into the outline of the map of Palestine.

My mind automatically sucks in Cuomo’s words and echoes them back at the TV in an altered form. I am Muslim, but the dynamic gripping me is one akin to the relationship between a pastor and his congregation at a black church. Cuomo calls and I respond, sometimes aloud. I hold back from hollering and shouting at his image, so as not to scare my family.

I take in every word of his sane, hopeful message — facts, not “facts on the ground”; science, not myths; let’s learn from our mistakes. Yes!

I translate his sentences into something else, like this: After decades of land theft, when will Palestinians be finally in control of their destiny and not subject to the whims of Israel and the international community? You tell me how Israel behaves today; I will tell you how Palestinians will be resisting a year from now.

The Zionist virus that is the Jewish state of Israel has yet to be stamped out. Hot-spot outbreaks have been with us since the Nakba of 1948. Currently, they are in the form of Israel’s horrifying annexation of parts of the West Bank, preying on the most vulnerable of peoples. We need to look for solutions that make things better for the Palestinian people. We need to reimagine the status quo and pose such a solution.

“In the first phase, we had to figure out what we are dealing with because we had no idea.” Yes, we had no idea — just intimations of unbelievable cruelty and diabolical greed! In 1947–48, we really had little idea. Remember, Palestine was 80% agrarian then — not the sophisticated community of Basle, Switzerland, where the plot for our dispossession was hatched at the First Zionist Conference in 1897.

“In the first phase, stabilize, control the damage,” says Cuomo. It turns out the key (here is that word again!) is information.

“I worked hard every day to make sure they knew the facts. ‘Trust the people’ — Lincoln, right? An informed public will keep this country safe. True, and that’s exactly what happened here,” Cuomo continues.

Funny Cuomo should say that, because, just the other day, a Palestinian friend on Facebook, Imad Jibawi, was saying something similar. He was commenting on a Zoom discussion I had posted titled “What do we do now?” conducted by Hani al-Masri, Director General of Masarat — The Palestinian Center for Policy Research & Strategic Studies (Masri is also a Policy Advisor for Al-Shabaka).

Imad Jibawi wondered:

“What is it that would drive the Palestinian people to the streets to protest by the thousands? Is it the annexation of Jerusalem? No; is it annexation of the Jordan Valley? No; is it Israel’s new settlements, then? No.

Why is that so?

I think the answer is in the question: Who is it mainly that we expect to take to the streets? They are those who are primarily under 30 — i.e., the Oslo generation.

These Palestinians were born and brought up in the reality of the Palestinian Authority, a government, ministries, VIPs, jobs, loans, etc.

[Preserving that] has been the national project for which our people sacrificed for years. People’s very livelihoods are now the red lines, holding them back. Their concerns are the teachers’ movement, the social security movement, the “we want to live” movement.

The question that concerns the political class as a whole is this: What next? What to do? The answer is: We start with our ABCs all over again. The first lesson is: Who are the Palestinians? What are the borders of the homeland of Palestine? The second lesson is: Who is our enemy? And what do we want?

Wanted: a new national awareness ….” [my translation from Arabic]

But then, as I continued to listen to Cuomo, I realized that, even though he and Jibawi are appealing to people to act collectively in their best interests by looking to themselves, rather than to their governments, there is a fundamental difference.

Cuomo is invoking security of health, family and livelihood as a raison d’etre for a certain set of collective behaviors, whereas what Jibawi is pushing for, necessarily given the Palestinian condition, is a revolutionary national consciousness that calls for a sacrifice of the very same things Cuomo is protecting for New Yorkers.

To Jibawi, the ideal of home and hearth (job security, health care, education, etc., as provided currently by the Palestinian Authority and the Oslo regime) must be superseded by the ideal of liberty, justice and equality for a people under occupation, who have escaped Israel’s genocide so far, but who continue to be dispossessed, brutally subjugated and oppressed by a vicious, powerful judeo-fascist entity and its allies.

Cuomo says,

“I don’t know when government became so political. It all became about rhetoric rather than actual competence, but it happened somewhere along the way that government could not handle the situation. People had to get engaged; people had to be informed and that’s the new thing I did. They got engaged because it mattered — this is not an abstract issue we are talking about people’s lives and people’s health and the health of their children.”

They’ll get engaged, because it matters. For both Palestinians and New Yorkers, these are not abstract issues. Far from it. In our case, all you have to do to realize the concreteness is to tune in to the daily news of thievery and savagery in their myriad forms the Israeli regime inflicts on the Palestinian people.

Many ask, if not the Palestinian Authority, if not the status quo of self-government for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, what then? My answer is this: First, hard as it is for many, we must find the will and steadfastness to effect an insurrection to continue the interrupted Palestinian revolution, returning to the political and community structures that sprang up to further the first intifada. We need a supreme manifestation of popular resistance against both the Palestinian Authority and Israel in all of occupied Palestine from the river to the sea with aid from Palestinians in exile.

Cuomo is right! “No government can impose any of these things … Stay in the house. Close every school. Close every bus. State government can’t enforce that. People had to understand the facts people had to engage in governing themselves in a way they hadn’t in decades … We are tough, smart, united, disciplined and loving” — even if our governments aren’t. We are samidoun.

Amen to that! Hallelujah!
*

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Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank.

All images in this article are from the authorThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Rima Najjar, Global Research, 2020

Israeli Troops Abduct Dozens of Palestinians including Women and Children

South Front

 May 12, 2020 8:19 PM

Israeli troops reportedly abducted, late on Monday evening and early on Tuesday morning, dozens of Palestinian residents, throughout the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) reported that Israeli troops began their abduction campaigns, in the West Bank town of Ya’bad, near Jenin city, where Israeli soldiers rounded up 16 residents, including a little girl and two women.

In a statement, the society noted that among those abducted are several sets of family members, including Yazzan and Kamal Abu Shammala, along with Mohammad Abu Baker and Marcile Abu Baker.

Local sources in Ya’bad said that the Israeli invasion of the town, was met with strong resistance by local civilians, who responded with stone throwing, since the early hours of Tuesday.

The invasion of Ya’bad came shortly after an Israeli soldier was pronounced dead during an Israeli attack on the town.

The abduction by Israeli soldiers included some 12 residents, including Nazmi Abu Baker, his wife Suheila and little girl, Eman, as well as their grandson, Ali.

They also included resident Rebhi Abu Baker, his wife Jojoud and three other family members, Mohammad, Khaled and Ahmad. Three more residents, identified as Ahmad Qabaha, Haitham Abu Baker and R’afat Abu Baker.

In the West Bank town of Silwad, east of Ramallah city, Israeli troops abducted Palestinian ex-prisoner, Abdelrahman Hammad, 19. While other Israeli troops abducted Feras Abu Snaina, 21, from the West Bank city of Hebron.

In addition, in the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, one more resident was abducted and then released.

In the internationally-recognized occupied East Jerusalem, where more than 100,000 Palestinians live, Israeli troops invaded the Silwan neighborhood, late on Monday evening, and abducted 13 Palestinian youths.

The PPS confirmed that the 13 youths were taken to the Almaskoubiya detention center. The society identified the abducted youths as Amir Mattar, Mohammad Mattar, Ali Jaber, Mahmoud Jaber, Amir Jaber, Yazzan Jaber, Dawood Tawil, Wessam Karky, Montaser Abu Nab, Qusay Abu Nab, Mohammad Abu Nab, Omar Alzaghal and Ahmad Shuwayat.

The PPS held Israeli occupation authorities fully responsible for the well-being of Palestinian prisoners, in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic, inside Israel and across the West Bank.

The society denounced what it termed a deliberate Israeli collective punishment against the Palestinian people, by means of the invasion of Ya’bad town, as well as abduction campaigns, throughout the West Bank.

It is important to note, that the Palestinian woman being detained by Israeli forces in the photo was not provided a face-mask for her protection, but rather it was used as a blindfold.

This exposes the absence of concern or consideration by the occupation army, for the health and safety of the Palestinian people.

Image: Mu’tasem Saqf al-Heit

Related News

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (30 April – 06 May 2020)

Posted by PCHR

30 April – 6 May 2020

  • IOF raids into oPt: a dangerous vulnerability in Palestinian preventive measures to combat the spread of coronavirus
  • Israeli occupation escalates personal attacks on Palestinian public figures in occupied Eastern Jerusalem to ban Palestinian Authority’s work
  • 13 Palestinian civilians sustained wounds, including 3 children in the West Bank
  • shootings reported against agricultural lands and 4 times at Palestinian fishing boats in eastern and western Gaza Strip
  • In 63 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 59 civilians arrested, including 5 children, a poet (woman) and a journalist
  • Collective Punishment Policy: Demolition notice delivered to a prisoner’s family house in Tulkarm
  • 5 notice to halt construction at 3 houses, an agricultural room, and water well in Salfit; civilian properties bulldozed and a settlers road dug in the West Bank
  • Settlers attacks in the West Bank: houses attacked and vandalized, Palestinian civilian assaulted and robbed of his sheep;
  • IOF established 38 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and roads closed

Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to violate Palestinians’ human rights and commit crimes against civilians and their properties, conducting raids into Palestinian cities without regard to the state of emergency declared across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) since 06 March 2020, in the efforts put forward to combat the spread of coronavirus. IOF raids are conducted without proper attention to prevention and safety standards to mitigate the risk of transmitting coronavirus to Palestinian territory, as the virus is widespread throughout Israel. PCHR’s concerns over Israeli raids still stand, as those raids undermine preventive measures adopted by the government. Meanwhile, settlers backed up by IOF continued to seize more civilian property and attack civilians and their property. This week, IOF launched an arrest campaign against prominent Palestinian figures who work for the Palestinian Authority (PA), in a continuation of Israeli systematic efforts to combat the presence and work of the PA in occupied East Jerusalem. PCHR reiterates its concern over the Israeli occupation’s policy of banning any preventive measures by the Palestinian Authority in occupied East Jerusalem, especially that Israel has adopted lenient measures in the city despite its responsibility for it under international law as an occupying power.

This week, PCHR documented 134 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.  The restrictions imposed under the state of emergency have hindered our fieldwork team’s ability to cover all incidents in the oPt and were forced to collect information via phone from trusted local sources. As such, this report is an incomprehensive record of Israeli violations of human rights against Palestinians in the oPt, as IOF continues its attacks against civilians despite the exceptional circumstances that have overcome the whole world in the face of a life-threatening viral pandemic.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: 13 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were shot and wounded in excessive use of force by IOF. Among those wounded, 6 sustained their wounds in IOF attacks on workers attempting to sneak into Israel via the Annexation wall in Jenin, Qalqilya and Tulkarem. While 6 others, including 3 children, were wounded during IOF suppression of a protest in Kufur Qaddoum, Qalqilya, West Bank. Another civilian was wounded in an IOF raid to Jericho. Dozens of civilians suffocated due to inhalation of tear gas fired by IOF during its raids into Palestinian cities. IOF committed12 shootings against agricultural lands eastern Gaza Strip, and 4 shootings were reported against Palestinian fishing boats off the western Gaza Strip shore.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 63 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, 59 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 children, a poet (woman) and a journalist. This week, IOF launched an arrest campaign against prominent Palestinian figures who work for the Palestinian Authority (PA), in a continuation of Israeli systematic efforts to combat the presence and work of the PA in occupied East Jerusalem.

Collective Punishment Policy

On Friday, 01 May 2020, IOF Mohamed ‘Alaa Jameel Risha’s (19) family a demolition notice. Risha was arrested and wounded after carrying out  a stab attack on 28 April 2020 in Kafar Saba city in Israel.

Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: IOF continued its settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented 9 violations, including: 2 plantation grounds, a laundromat in Bethlehem, 4 notices to halt construction at 2 houses, an agricultural room and a water well in Salfit; agricultural tools confiscated while digging a water wll in Qalqilya, an agricultural room demolished in Tubas, water pool bulldozed and iron barracks dismanteled in Jericho, a notice to halt construction at a house in Jenin and a settlement road dug in Hebron.

PCHR also documented 4 settler attacks: houses attacked and vandalized, assault on a civilian a theft of his sheep in Nablus; 24 olive trees sabotaged in Qalqilya.

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. Furthermore, IOF uses Erez Crossing that is designated for movement of individuals as an ambush to arrest Palestinians who obtain permits to exit via Israel.

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. Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity
  1. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
  • At approximately 03:00 on Thursday, 30 April 2020, IOF stationed along the annexation wall, adjacent to Zeta village, north of Tulkarm, opened fire at Palestinian workers. As a result, 2 civilians, from Ajjah village in Jenin, were shot and injured. IOF arrested one of the wounded civilians, namely Eyad Adanan Zuhair Ma’li (26), who was shot with a live bullet in his abdomen. The other civilian aged 41years old was shot with a live bullet in the left knee. He was transferred to Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital.
  • At approximately 06:50 on the same Thursday, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area ( 3 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen panicked and were forced to flee from the see. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 06:50 on Friday, 01 May 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area ( 3 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen panicked and were forced to flee from the see. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00 on the same Friday, IOF stationed along the annexation wall, adjacent to Hablah village, south of Qalqiliyah, opened fire at a number of Palestinian workers when they attempted to enter Israel through the annexation wall’s gate for work . As a result, a 23-year-old young man was shot with a live bullet in his right leg and a 21-year-old young man was also shot with a live bullet in his right leg. The wounded civilians, who are from Qalqiliyah, were transferred to Dr. Darwish Nazal Hospital for medical treatment.
  • At approximately 14:30 on the same Friday, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established at lands of Kafer Qaddoum village, north of Qalqiliyah, suppressed a protest in which dozens of civilians participated to protest against closing the road for more than 16years. IOF chased the young men, who gathered in the area. Clashes erupted in the area in which IOF fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the young men. As a result, 6 civilians, including 3 children, were shot and injured with rubber bullets throughout their bodies.
  • At approximately 16:00 on the same Friday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of al-Shoka village, east of Rafah, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:20 on the same Friday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Buraij in central Gaza Strip, fired flare bombs at agricultural lands, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 07:00 on Saturday, 02 May 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area ( 3 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen panicked and were forced to flee from the see. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:50 on the same Saturday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of al-Maghazi in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF stationed along the annexation wall, adjacent to Hablaha village, south of Qalqiliyah, opened fire at a number of Palestinian workers when they attempted to enter Israel through the wall’s gate for work. As a result, a 30-year-old civilians was shot with 2 live bullets in his feet. He was transferred to Dr. Darwish Nazal Hospital in Qalqiliyah for medical treatment.
  • At approximately 03:00 on Sunday, 03 May 2020, IOF moved into Aqabet Jaber refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. They stationed in the southern area of the camp. In the meantime, a number of Palestinian young men protested and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails  at Israeli soldiers. The soldiers chased the young men and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, an 18-year-old young man was shot with a live bullet in his foot. He was transferred to Jericho Hospital for medical treatment.
  • At approximately 07:20 on the same Sunday, IOF stationed along the border fence, adjacent to Far’oun village, south of Tulkarm, fired live bullets at a number of Palestinian workers when they attempted to enter Israel through the wall’s gate for work. As a result, a 26-year-old young, from Tulkarm,  man was shot with a rubber bullet in his right leg. He was transferred to Thabet Thabet Hospital for medical treatment.
  • At approximately 22:00 on the same Sunday, IOF moved into al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They stationed on Slaman al-Faresi Street in the center of the neighborhood. In the meantime, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and fireworks at Israeli soldiers while the later responded with rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, dozens of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 03:00 on the same Sunday, IOF reinforced with military SUVs moved into al-Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, deployed between houses and patrolled the area, causing fear among the residents. They raided and searched Islam Mahmoud Jawabrah’s (19) house, searched it and arrested Islam and took him to the area where the military vehicles stationed. In the meantime, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers. The soldiers chased the young man and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a number of stone throwers suffocated due to tear gas canisters. At approximately 05:00 on the same day, IOF withdrew from the camp taking the arrested civilian with them.
  • At approximately 06:30 on Monday, 03 May 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area ( 3 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen panicked and were forced to flee from the see. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:00 on the same Monday, IOF reinforced with dozens of military SUVs moved into Kafer Aqab village, north of occupied East Jeruslem. They stationed in several sites in the villages, and checked the ID cards of passersby and wrote fines for some others, who were not wearing the muzzle as the Israeli government forces all people to wear it when they leave their homes in light of their procedures to combat the spread of corona virus. Israeli soldier also raided dozens of commercial shops and wrote  exorbitant fines for their owners. In the meantime, dozens of Palestinian young men protested and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers while the later responded with rubber bullets, and sound bombs. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. They received medical treatment on the field.
  • At approximately 19:00 on the same Monday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in the vicinity of the land fill. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 05 May 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and sound bombs at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’a village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 02:00 on Wednesday, 06 May 2020, IOF reinforced with several military SUVs moved into Bani Na’im village, in Hebron. They patrolled the streets and fired sound bombs indiscriminately at Yaqin and Khelat al-Mas’ourah areas without a reason. As a result, residents. IOF later withdrew from the village; no other raids were reported.
  1. Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 30 April 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Jabal al-Mawaleh area, in central Bethlehem. They raided and searched Sufian Mohammed Ajaj’s (34) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Owa village, southwest of Hebron Governorate. They raided and search Mahmoud Waseem Masalmah’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Shweika suburb, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ameer Ameed Abu Hashish (22), Majdi Mohammed Dar A’mar (23), and his brother Saleem (24), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:55, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Jericho, and stationed on the city center. They raided and searched Ahmed Hazem Jahalin’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Betounya, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Ibrahim Awad al-Najar’s (27) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Seelat al-Thuhr village, south of Jenin; Deir Sharaf and Tal villages in Nablus. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 01 May 2020:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Beit Sera village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians: Mohammed Ra’ed Anqawi (22), Ibrahim Suliman Anqawi (20), and Mohammed Yaser Anqawi (20).
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Salem, Ourif, Surra, and Qasra villages in Nablus; al-Samoua and Deir Samit villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 02 May 2020:

  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into Bab Hatta neighborhood, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Eyad Mos’ab Ghazalah (17) and Mohammed Reyad al-Joulani (22), and arrested them.
  • IOF carried out an incursion in al-Jaftalek village, north of Jericho. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 03 May 2020:

  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Issaweya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (7) civilians including a child: Samer Anwar Obaid (34), Adam Kayed Mahmoud (19), Mo’tasem Hamza Obaid (16), Waleed Dawoud Alian (24), Qusai Abdullah Alian (22), Tamer Ali Mahmoud (21), and Mohammed Ramadan al-Masri (20).
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Azoun village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians including a child: Akram Tayseer Saleem (15), Mohmmed Ali Redwan (24), and Mansour Asem Saleem (19).
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF who were on patrol in al-Bayada neighborhood, southeast of Nablus, arrested Deya’ Omar Darawshah (22) and Izzat Majed Awwad (22), while they were collecting beans from their land. IOF took them to Howara military camp, and released them at approximately 21:30 of the same day.
  • IOF carried out two incursions in Aqraba, southeast of Nablus Governorate, and Izbt al-Tabib, east of Qalqilya. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 04 May 2020:

  • At approximately 02:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Qafin village, northeast of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Abed Basel Biqawi (28) and Bara’ Sameer Ammar (20), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Mahmoud Ishaq Abu Hashhash (26) and Obaida Jaber al-Titi (21).
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Wad Risha, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Abdul Fattah Ata Abu Jhaisha’s (25) houses and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:45, IOF moved into Abu Shukhaidm village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Zeyad Mohammed Abu Salem’s (26) house and arrested him. It should be noted that Zeyad is a former prisoner in the Israeli prisons.
  • At approximately 04:40, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Marka village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Nawras Firas Sbaih (19), and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Nablus. They raided and searched Ameed al-Houtari’s (18) house, east of the city, and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into al-Issaweya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Awni Dawoud Ateya’s (53) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Ameen Omar Hamed (26) while present near the western entrance to al-Issaweya village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in al-Jabreyat neighborhood, Arraba village in Jenin, and Askan new camp in Nablus. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 05 May 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Qutna villae, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Kayed Taha’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Owa village, southwest of Hebron Governorate. They raided and searched Sameer Subhi Masalmah’s (38) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Obaid neighborhood, west of al-Issaweya village, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (7) civilians: Mahmoud Ramadan Obaid (23), Deya’ Ayman Obaid (24), Yousef Ali al-Kaswani (22), Abdullah Ata Derbas (18), Yousef Dawoud Muhaisen (43), Ameer Awwad, and Mahmoud Mohammed Obaid (23).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched the house of the Secretary General of the National People’s Congress, Belal Hashim al-Natsheh (57), and his director Mo’ath al-Ashhab (52). IOF took them to al-Maskoubeya investigation center in West Jerusalem.

Lawyer Ahmed Safeya said that the Israeli Magistrate Court extended the arrest of General Bilal al-Natsheh, the Secretary-General of the Popular National Congress in Jerusalem, and his director Moaz Al-Ashhab, to the next day, to present them to the court again at approximately 14:00. Safeya confirmed that the Israeli Authorities immediately investigated with al-Natsheh and al-Ashhab which deteriorated the health condition of al-Natsheh. Al-Natsheh was referred to “Shi’ari Tsediq” the Israeli Hospital for treatment with an ambulance.

IOF’s spokesperson announced that they arrested (7) civilians, who were distributing food aids to needy families during the Coronavirus pandemic in charge of violating the law of the application, which criminalizes any work of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied Jerusalem.

  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into al-Towr neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched the Poetry Rania Hatem’s (38) house, and took her to al-Maskoubeya investigation center in West Jerusalem. IOF released her in the noon after investigating with her about violating the law of the application, which criminalizes any work of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched the volunteer in the Palestinian Civil Defense; Jadallah Saeed al-Ghoul’s (41) house, and took him to al-Maskoubeya investigation center in West Jerusalem. It should be noted that al-Ghoul was released after investigating with him about violating the law of the application, which criminalizes any work of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Wadi al-Jooz neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched the Eng. Mustafa Amin Abu Zahra’s (68) house, Member of the High Islamic Authority in the Occupied Jerusalem, and Chairman of the Committee for the Care of Islamic Cemeteries in the Palestinian Endowments, and took him to al-Maskoubeya investigation center in West Jerusalem. In the noon, IOF released him after investigating with him about violating the law of the application, which criminalizes any work of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into Jabal al-Mukaber neighborhood, south of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched the journalist Tamer Obaidat’s (34) house and took him to al-Maskoubeya investigation center. IOF released him after investigating with him about violating the law of the application, which criminalizes any work of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 09:30, IOF moved into Beit Hanina village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched, assistant Secretary-General of the Popular National Congress in Jerusalem, Emad Awad’s (48) house and took him to al-Maskoubeya investigation center. At approximately 15:00, IOF released him after investigating with him about violating the law of the application, which criminalizes any work of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF moved into Qafin village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Mahmoud Fawwaz Ammar’s house and confiscated the surveillances cameras of his house.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into Obaid neighborhood, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Omran Lo’ay al-‘Aweiwi (16) and Mohammed Mahmoud (17), after severely beaten them, then they were taken to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into Silwan village, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Yazan Emad Syam’s (25) house and arrested him.

Wednesday, 06 May 2020:

  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Taqoua, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Yousef Jamal al-Sabbah (22) and Yaseen Yousef al-Sabbah (22), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 21:00m IOF moved into Silwan village, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched the volunteer in the Palestinian Civil Defense; Jadallah Saeed al-Ghoul’s (41) house, and took him to al-Maskoubeya investigation center in West Jerusalem. It should be noted that al-Ghoul was arrested for investigation on the dawn of the previous day after investigating with him about violating the law of the application, which criminalizes any work of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied Jerusalem.

III. Collective Punishment Policy

  • As part of the collective punishment policy applied by the IOF against the Palestinian families of those accused of carrying out attacks against the Israeli forces and/or settlers,  IOF handed a demolition notice for a prisoner’s family in Tulkarm. According to PCHR’s follow-up, at approximately 02:00 on Friday, 01 May 2020, IOF moved into Tulkarm camp and raided a house belonging to Mohamed ‘Alaa Jameel Risha (19), who was arrested and wounded after carrying out a stab attack on 28 April 2020 in Kafar Saba city in Israel. IOF handed Risha’s family a demolition notice. Meanwhile, many Palestinian young men gathered in the area and IOF fired tear gas canisters at them, under the pretext of throwing stones. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  1. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem
  • Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
  • At approximately 07:00 on Thursday, 30 April 2020, Israeli bulldozers leveled an agricultural nursery in Joret al-Sham’ah, south of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Hasan Breijieh, Head of the Bethlehem office of Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission, said that IOF bulldozed Mahmoud Ahmed Abu Hammad’s agricultural nursery in Wadi al-Nies village, under the pretext of non-licensing. He pointed out that IOF notified to demolish other houses and barracks in different areas in Bethlehem.
  • On Thursday morning, Israeli bulldozers demolished a carwash in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. Eng. Eyad Abu Surra, said that IOF moved into Um Rokba area, south of al-Khader village, and demolished Mohamed Ibrahim Da’dou’s under-construction carwash, under the pretext of non-licensing. He pointed out that Um Rokba area is exposed to a systematic demolition of houses and shops by IOF.
  • At approximately 09:30 on Sunday, 03 May 2020, IOF moved into Qarawet Bani Hassan village, west of Salfit. They expelled Palestinian shepherds from Nowiatif area while breeding livestock and ordered them not to return, under the pretext of being state-owned lands. IOF also distributed 3 notices to stop construction work in 2 houses and an agricultural room in Nowiatif area, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C, and gave them until 24 June 2020 (to hold a session during which it will be decided to either demolish the building or return it to its previous status). The distributed notices were as follows:
  1. Jala Kan’an Rayan, stop construction work in an agricultural room built of tin plates.
  2. ‘Abed al-Hakeem Mohamed Mer’I, stop construction work in his 2-storey-house.
  3. Yaseen Nabil Mer’I, stop construction work in his 2-storey-house.
  • At approximately 13:30, IOF moved into Khelet Nejarah area in Dirsitiyia village, north of Salfit. They distributed notices to stop construction work in Moneer Khalil Ahmed Mansour’s water well, under the pretext of working in Area C and in a natural reserve. IOF identified 10 June 2020 to hold a court session in Beit Eill during which it will be decided to either demolish the building or return it to its previous status.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF confiscated equipment belonging to Ras ‘Atiyia Cooperative Assocation for Agricultural Development, claiming that the association excavated an artesian well between Ras ‘Atiyia and Magharet al-Dab’ah villages, which are classified as Area C. IOF also confiscated a mounted-crane truck belonging to the association while excavating a new well in Tayseer Mohamed Mara’bah’s land to alleviate the water crisis that encounters farmers in the area.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 04 May 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-‘Aqaba village, east of Tayaseer village in Tubas. They demolished Murad ‘Awni Saleh Jaber’s 36-square-meter agricultural room built of brick and roofed with tin plates  in al-‘Aqaba village, under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.
  • On Monday, 04 May 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbet ‘Allan in al-Shona area, north of Jericho. IOF were deployed in the area while the military construction vehicles demolished a 300-square-meter water pool. The Israeli Civil Administration officers dismantled Anwar Abu Jouda’s 160-square-meter barrack built of tin plates and used for breeding livestock before confiscating it, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. It should be noted that Israeli authorities and the Israeli Civil Administration Department handed Abu Jouda a demolition notice on 26 April 2020, upon Military order No. (1797), which gives Palestinians 96 hours to challenge before Israeli authorities. The new military order came into force in the West Bank on 1/4/2019, and its details hinder any attempt to challenge before the Israeli court.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 05 May 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Daher al-‘Abed village, southeast of Jenin. The Israeli Civil Administration officers hanged a notice on ‘Ameed Bassam Sameeh ‘Amarnah’s house door to stop working in his 220-square-meter house, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C.
  • At approximately 14:00, Israeli authorities built a new road on the Palestinians’ lands, which were confiscated from al-Swati family in Faqiqis village, southwest of Hebron, to connect “Negohout” settlement with “Mirchalim” settlement outpost.  Israeli authorities seek to expand “Negohout” settlement on the Palestinian confiscated lands and prevent their owners from accessing them from many years ago. It should be noted that the Settlement Sub-Committee in the Israeli Authorities announced a detailed plan for the construction of settlement units, buildings and roads in the “ Negohout ” settlement on Palestinians confiscated lands, west of Dura city in Hebron. The detailed plan was published on the website of the Israeli Ministry of Interior on 14 February 2018. The plan No. (A / 1/521) allocates 291 dunums and aims to change land uses from agricultural lands to residential areas designated for the construction of new settlement units. This plan came to expand the settlement established on Palestinian lands since the early 1980s, and to build more settlement units.
  • Israeli Settler Violence
  • At approximately 01:55 on Thursday, 30 April 2020, Israeli settlers, from ” Hafat Gilad ” settlement, which is established on Surra village lands, southwest of Nablus, attacked Palestinians’ vehicles parked in front of their owners’ houses in the eastern area, western neighborhoods and on the village streets. They also vandalized Khaled Mohamed al-Hendy’s house walls and punctured the tires of 14 vehicles before leaving. PCHR keeps the names of affected persons.
  • On the same day, settlers, from “ Gilad ” settlement, attacked Amateen village lands, north of Qalqiliyia. They broke Riyad Sadeeq Beri’s 24 olive trees planted in al-Ahmar Mount area, north of the village.
  • At approximately 21:40 on Sunday, 03 May 2020, a group of settlers gathered in al-Zaytouna square, southeast of Nablus, under the IOF protection. They carried out riots in the area and no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Wednesday, 06 May 2020, Israeli settlers, from ” Homish” settlement, which was established on Burqa village lands, northwest of Nablus, attacked Harbi Mohamed ‘Ali ‘Abdo (50), from Beit Amareen village, while breeding sheep in Bab Wad area. ‘Abdo was severely beaten, his left leg was fractured and 20 of his sheep was stolen by the settlers. The village residents helped him and returned 250 of his sheep. They phoned the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to send an ambulance, which took him to Rafidia Hospital.
  1. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods
  • West Bank:
  • In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the movement of goods and individuals between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. IOF established 38 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, and checked their IDs.

Jerusalem:

  • On Sunday, 03 May 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Jabei’ village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 30 April 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Janata and Taqou’a villages and in ‘Aqabet Hasna area, west of Bethlehem.
  • On Friday, 01 May 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Janata and Taqou’a villages and in ‘Aqabet Hasna area, west of Bethlehem.
  • On Sunday, 03 May 2020, IOF established a checkpoint in ‘Aqabet Hasna area, west of Bethlehem.
  • On Wednesday, 06 May 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Taqou’a and Janata villages, east of Bethlehem.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 30 March 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Bani Na’iem village, east of Hebron.
  • On Saturday, 02 May 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Yatta, at the southern entrance to Hebron, and at the entrance to al-Fawar refugee camp.
  • On Sunday, 03 May 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ethna village, west of Hebron.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Monday, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Bani Na’iem village, east of Hebron.
  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli authorities closed with cement cubes Abu Touq road, which connects bwteen Beit Ummer and Bypass road (60).
  • On Tuesday, 05 May 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beit ‘Awaa village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron.
  • On Wednesday, 06 May 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp and at the entrance to Bani Na’iem village (Wad al-Jouz).

Nablus:

  • On Friday, 01 May 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Qasrah village, southeast of  Nablus, and on ‘Oreef-‘Asirah al-Qabaliyia villages road. IOF also closed Surra village entrance, southwest of Nablus.
  • On Saturday, 02 May 2020, IOF established a checkpoint on’Oreef-‘Asirah al-Qabaliyia villages road, southeast of Nablus.
  • On Sunday, 03 May 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Dir Sharafi village at the western entrance to Nablus. IOF also closed Hawarah checkpoint, at the south-eastern entrance to Nablus, and tightened their arbitrary measures at Za’tarah checkpoint against Palestinians who cross the checkpoint and undergo thorough searches before being allowed to cross.

Jenin:

  • On Wednesday, 06 May 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ta’nak village, on Jenin-Hifa Street, west of Jenin.

Qalqiliyia:

  • On Friday, 01 May 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village and at the eastern entrance to Qalqiliyia.
  • On Saturday, 02 May 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village and at the eastern entrance to Qalqiliyia.
  • On Sunday, 03 May 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village and at the eastern entrance to Qalqiliyia.
  • On Monday, 04 May 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village and at the eastern entrance to Qalqiliyia.
  • On Tuesday, 05 May 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village and at the eastern entrance to Qalqiliyia.

Salfit:

  • On Monday, 04 May 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Salfit and at the entrance to Burqeen village, west of Salfit.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 30 April 2020, IOF established a checkpoint on the main street, near “Beit Eill” settlement, which leads to al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah.
  • On Saturday, 02 May 2020, IOF closed with cement cubes the main entrance to Kafur Malek village, northeast of Ramallah, and prevented Palestinians from entering and exiting the village. The entrance was re-opened on Sunday, 03 May 2020.
  • On Sunday, 03 May 2020, IOF established a checkpoint, searched Palestinian civilians, and checked their IDs.

PCHR Welcomes the Response of the Prosecution of the International Criminal Court to the Observations of Amici Curiae, Legal Representatives of Victims, and States.

 Posted by PCHR

Ref:42/2020

On 30 April 2020, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) submitted a 60-page document to the Pre-Trial Chamber I responding to the observations of amici curiae, legal representatives of victims, and States concerning the situation in the State of Palestine. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) welcomes the Prosecutor’s re-affirmation of her position that there is a reasonable basis to initiate an investigation into the situation in Palestine and that the Court has territorial jurisdiction over the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. PCHR reiterates it support for the work of the Prosecutor as it moves towards opening an investigation, pending a ruling from the Pre-Trial Chamber I on the Court’s territorial jurisdiction, and contends that it is important that such steps are taken soon with the aim of realizing Court’s goal, which is bringing perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity to justice.

PCHR along with other Palestinian human rights organizations have engaged extensively with the ICC, and in particular the Office of the Prosecutor, in bringing about an investigation.  To date the Palestinian organisations have submitted seven substantial communications along with thousands of files of photographic and other evidence recorded through Eyewitness. The latest was a review paper submitted on 29 April 2020 entitled” Response to Arguments Raised in Amici Curiae Submissions in the Situation in the State of Palestine Before the International Criminal Court” to provide additional guidance on the territorial jurisdiction of the Court and move the situation in Palestine towards a criminal investigations.

The recent worrying development indicate that the Court must move as quickly as possible to put an end for Israel’s lack of accountability. On 6 April 2020, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Chairman of Kahol Lavan party, Benny Gantz, published a joint statement concerning the formation of an emergency coalition government, promising potential annexation of substantial parts of the West Bank, which Israel will use to facilitate the theft of Palestinian land. As the ICC constitutes the last hope for accountability for Palestinian victims, it is crucial that it takes steps to put an end to Israel’s impunity.

PCHR is well aware that the ICC Prosecutor is working under extreme pressure due to recent attacks and threats by the United States and Israel, and praises the Court for taking a position that reflects the view of Palestinian human rights organizations, and the victims they represent, despite the difficult circumstances they operate under. Therefore, PCHR calls on the international community, including the State Parties to the Rome Statute, to support the Prosecutor’s efforts in pursuing justice and accountability for Palestinian victims. In particular, PCHR calls upon states who presented amici curiae arguing against the Court’s territorial jurisdiction to adopt the arguments and analysis presented in the Prosecutor’s submission.

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (16 – 22 April 2020)

Posted by PCHR

16 -22  April 2020

  • IOF raids into oPt: a dangerous vulnerability in Palestinian preventive measures to combat the spread of coronavirus
  • Israeli occupation authorities impede Palestinian efforts to combat coronavirus in occupied East Jerusalem
  • 10 Palestinian civilians sustained wounds, including 9 in the West Bank and a fisherman in Gaza
  • 12 shootings reported against agricultural lands and 5 at Palestinian fishing boats in eastern and western Gaza Strip
  • In 39 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem: 38 civilians arrested, including 5 children and a woman
  • Café, barracks and barn destroyed and notices of demolition of two houses and agricultural rooms in the West Bank
  • Settlers attacks in the West Bank: assaults on civilians, olive trees uprooted and sabotaged in the West Bank
  • IOF established 10 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, roads closed and 2 civilians arrested at IOF checkpoints

Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to violate Palestinians’ human rights and commit crimes against civilians and their properties, conducting raids into Palestinian cities without regard to the state of emergency declared across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) since 06 March 2020, in the efforts put forward to combat the spread of coronavirus. IOF raids are conducted without proper attention to prevention and safety standards to mitigate the risk of transmitting coronavirus to Palestinian territory, as the virus is widespread throughout Israel. PCHR’s concerns over Israeli raids still stand, as those raids undermine preventive measures adopted by the government. Meanwhile, settlers backed up by IOF continued to seize more civilian property and attack civilians and their property. Furthermore, PCHR expresses its concern over the Israeli occupation’s policy of banning any preventive measures by the Palestinian Authority in occupied East Jerusalem, especially that Israel has adopted lenient measures in the city despite its responsibility for it under international law as an occupying power.

This week, PCHR documented 89 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.  The restrictions imposed under the state of emergency have hindered our fieldwork team’s ability to cover all incidents in the oPt and were forced to collect information via phone from trusted local sources. As such, this report is an incomprehensive record of Israeli violations of human rights against Palestinians in the oPt, as IOF continues its attacks against civilians despite the exceptional circumstances that have overcome the whole world in the face of a life-threatening viral pandemic.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: 10 Palestinian civilians were shot and wounded by IOF as the latter continues its excessive use of force; 9 in the West Bank and 1 fisherman in Gaza. IOF opened fire 5 times during raids into the West Bank; 12 shootings against the agricultural lands eastern Gaza Strip while 5 shootings were reported against Palestinian fishing boats off the northern Gaza Strip shore.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 39 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, 38 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 children and a woman. Also, IOF conducted two limited incursions into southern and northern Gaza Strip.

Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: IOF continued its settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented the demolition of a café, barracks and barn; demolition notices to a house in Nablus and another one in Bethlehem; 4 notice to cease work at agricultural rooms in Hebron and confiscation of a “Mercedes Benz” truck and a construction vehicle in Jericho.

PCHR also documented 6 settler attacks: uprooting and sabotaging olive trees in Qalqilya; assaults on a Palestinian and uprooting of olive trees in Ramallah; banning Palestinians from working in their lands and assault on a Palestinian and theft of two sheep in Hebron.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

Israeli authorities declared  that Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing and West Bank Crossings will be opened on 16 April 2020 after a 5-week closure, under the pretext of confronting the fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This comes in a time when 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. Furthermore, IOF uses Erez Crossing that is designated for movement of individuals as an ambush to arrest Palestinians who obtain permits to exit via Israel.

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. Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity
  1. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
  • At approximately 08:50 on Thursday,16 April 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’a village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 00:00 on the same Thursday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Gaza Valley (Juhor al-Deek), southeast of Gaza City, fired tear gas canisters at Palestinian shepherds. As a result, the shepherds had to leave the area fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Friday, 17 April 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence in eastern al-Shoka village, east of Rafah, opened fire at agricultural lands, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:00 on the same Friday, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established at lands of Kafer Qadoum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian civilians participated. IOF chased the young men, who gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a 23-year-old young man was shot with a rubber bullet in the head, a 49-year-old man was shot with a rubber bullet in his chest and a 25-year old young man was shot with a rubber bullet in the left leg.
  • At approximately 13:40 on the same Friday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 07:15 on Saturday, 18 April 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northeast of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing are (2 – 3 nautical miles). The attack continued from time to time until 10:00 on the same day. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 07:50 on Saturday, 18 April 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired tear gas canisters at a group of Palestinian farmers in eastern Khuza’a village, adjacent to border fence. no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:30 on the same Saturday, Israeli gunboats stationed at sea off al-Balakhiyah area, northwest of Gaza City, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (4 nautical miles). As a result, a fishing boat owned by Ahmed Ahmed Hasan Zedan (29), from al-Shati refugee camp, sustained live bullets. As a result, the boat was broken. Fishermen also panicked and sailed back to the shore fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00 on the same Saturday, IOF stationed along the border fence, northeast of the Agriculture School, north of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the border area adjacent to the border fence. As a result, Palestinian shepherds and a number of farmers, whose lands are adjacent to the border area, panicked. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 07:40 on Sunday, 19 April 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired tear gas canisters at a group of Palestinian farmers, east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:50 on the same Sunday, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of al-Balalikhah area, northwest of Gaza City, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (5 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen were forced to  flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00 on the same Sunday, IOF stationed along the border fence, north of the Agriculture School, north of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the border area, adjacent to the border area. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 13:30 on Monday, 20 April 2020 IOF stationed at Za’tarah checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, detained and attacked 3 civilians, from Jenin, by their feet and rifle’s butt  at the checkpoint before they released them. The wounded civilians were transferred to Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus for medical treatment. The wounded civilians were identified as: Ra’ed Yusuf Suleiman Khanfar (43), who works at the Palestinian national security service, sustained bruises in his right shoulder; Nasim Omer Mustafa Salah (22), sustained bruises in front side of his neck, lower back, right thigh, abdomen and a fracture  in his left hand; and Suheib Maher Tawfiq Abu Obeid  (23) sustained bruises in the lower back.
  • At approximately 15:30 on the same Monday, IOF stationed along the border fence, southeast of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at the border area, adjacent to the border fence. Palestinian shepherds and a number of farmers, whose lands are adjacent to the border fence, panicked. Neither casualties nor material was reported.
  • At approximately 22:00 on the same Monday, a number of Palestinian young men and youngsters protested at the western entrance to Taqou’s village, east of Bethlehem. They threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers stationed in the military watchtower near the abovementioned entrance. Israeli soldiers fired live bullets at the protestors. As a result, a civilian was shot with a rubber bullet in the thigh and was arrested by IOF. He was taken to Sha’arei Tzedek Hospital in West Jerusalem, for treatment. IOF claimed in a statement that Israeli soldiers saw a number of Palestinians who were about to throw Molotov Cocktails at a military site. Israeli soldiers opened fire at them and wounded one of them. The wounded civilian received medical treatment on the field and was taken via an Israeli ambulance to a hospital in Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 21 April 2020, IOF stationed in the vicinity of the annexation wall, north of Qalqilya, fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at a group of Palestinian civilians, claiming that they were stoned. As a result, a 22-year-old civilian was shot with a live bullet in the right foot. He was transferred to Darwish Nazal Hospital for medical treatment.
  • At approximately 09:30 on the same Tuesday, Israeli gunboats stationed  northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased  and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area(3 nautical miles). As a result, a fishing boat’s engine was broken owned by fisherman Fahed Ziyad Hasan Baker (43), from al-Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City. IOF surrounded and opened fire at the boat for 10 minutes and withdrew after that. Palestinian fishermen managed to drag the boat to Gaza Sea port. The owner’s son, Ziyad Fahed Baker (25) was shot with a rubber bullet in his head. He was taken to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and his injury was classified as minor.
  • At approximately 13:20 on the same Tuesday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds. The shepherds were forced to leave the area fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 15:15, on the same Tuesday, IOF stationed along the border fence, north of the Agriculture School, north of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at the border area. Palestinian shepherds and a number of famers, whose lands are adjacent to the border fence, panicked. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 18:00 on the same Tuesday, IOF moved into Kuber village, north of Ramallah and stationed in the vicinity of the western entrance to the village. A number of Palestinian young men protested  and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers and the latter chased them and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a 32-year-old young man was shot with a live bullet in his abdomen. He was transferred to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah for medical treatment.
  • At approximately 21:30 Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area ( 2 – 4 nautical miles). IOF also fired a number of artillery shells in the vicinity of the boats. As a result, fishermen panicked and fled from the area. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 22 April 2020, IOF moved inot al-Sawahrah eastern village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched family houses of Ibrahim Mohammed ‘Ali Halsah (25), who was killed an hour after he carried out a run-over attack and stabbed an Israeli soldiers at al-Container military checkpoint, east of Bethlehem. In the meantime, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers while the latter responded with live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters. As a result, a civilian was shot with a rubber bullet  and another civilian sustained wounds in his face according to the statement of Palestine Red Crescent Society. IOF arrested 3 civilians, including the victim’s, Ibrahim, mother, ‘Aeshah Halsah (54) before they withdrew from the village.
  • At approximately 15:30 on the same Wednesday, IOF stationed southeast of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the border area adjacent to the border fence. As a result, Palestinian shepherds and a number of farmers, whose lands adjacent to the border fence, panicked. No casualties were reported.
  1. Incursions and arrests

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 16 April 2020:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Talfit village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Mujahed Mohammed al-Talfiti’s (36) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli Intelligence Services summoned Palestine TV reporter in Jerusalem, Christine Khaled Rinawi (31), via a phone call to refer to al-Maskoubeya Police Station in West Jerusalem, at approximately 22:00 of the same day.

Al-Rinawi said that the Israeli Intelligence Services investigated with her for 3 consecutive hours about her work at Palestine TV and the media messages that she spread via TV and her Facebook page. She added that the Security Officers accused her that she did not commit to the Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan decision to ban the TV staff from doing any work for 6 months, which was expired two days ago. Al-Rinawi said that she was threatened by the Israeli Authority to renew the decision of banning the Palestine TV staff in Jerusalem again. Six months ago, IOF has shut down Palestine TV office in Jerusalem, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, arrested and barred its employees from doing any work for the TV in Jerusalem.

  • At approximately 09:30, IOF summoned Head of Silwan Institutions, Fawzi Ghaleb Sha’ban (56), via a phone call to refer to al-Maskoubeya Police Center in West Jerusalem.

Sha’ban said that the Israeli security services investigated with him for 5 consecutive hours about the medical check-ups and the emergency room’s services provided to the civilians in Silwan, which was established after increasing the cases number of Coronavirus and the clear deliberate neglect by the Israeli Authorities. Sha’ban said that he refused to be released on their conditions which are bail and 5 days of home confinement, so he was released without conditions.

  • IOF carried out (7) incursions in Hebron and Tarqoumeya in Hebron Governorate, Nablus Awarta, and Salem villages in Nablus Governorate, al-Maddeya, Na’leen in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 17 April 2020:

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF chased the Palestinian farmer Shihada Salama Makhamra (50) while he was passing with his shepherds in al-Hamra area heading to al-Masafer, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. Basel Suliman al-Adra (24) was documenting the settler’s violations, when two of the Israeli soldiers came and ordered him to give them his camera, but he refused. IOF beaten al-Adra and seized his camera, then they tried to arrest him, when al-Tawani village people gathered and intervened which allowed al-Adra to leave. During that time, a group of settlers arrived from “Ma’on” settlement and pulled their guns at the civilians which forced them to leave their lands.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested (4) civilians including children, while present in Qanater Khudair neighborhood in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The arrestees are: Anas Mustafa Marqasto (19), Abdul Rahman Daher l-Sharbati (16), Mohammed Taha (24), and Waseem Taha (20).

Eyewitnesses said that IOF quarreled with Qanater Khudair people due to issuing tickets for a group of them claiming that they breached the IOF orders to reduce the Coronavirus infection. During that, IOF came and arrested 4 civilians.

  • At approximately 20:20, IOF reinforced by several military vehicles moved into Ya’bud, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched Khaled Mohammed Abu Baker’s (17) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in al-Asja and Raboud villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 18 April 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into several neighborhoods in Hebron’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (5) civilians: Yaqoub Mohammed Ramadan (18), Adham Mohammed Ramadan (19), Nayef Ali al-Rajabi (20), Marwan Ali Ghaith (20), and Salem Saleh Abu Shukhaidim (20).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Obaideya village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Zaid Nour Rabay’a’s (20) house and arrested him.

Sunday, 19 April 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Share’ al-Salam area, in Hebron. They raided and searched anti-settlement activist Mohammed Ahmed Zughayar’s (35) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Hebron’s Old City. They raided and searched Suhaib Ali al-Junaidi’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Silwan village, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Rasheed Kayed Abu Sara’s (16) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF stationed at Mafi Dutan temporary military checkpoint near ‘Araba, southwest of Jenin, arrested Murad Mohmoud Abu Salah (25). IOF took him to an unknown destination.

Monday, 20 April 2020:

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Taqoua’ village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mousa Mohammed al-‘Amour’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Deir Samit village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched four houses and arrested (4) civilians: Basheer Salama al-Haroub (30), Mohammed Wael al-Haroub (29), Mohammed Dawoud al-Haroub (24), and Issa Mohammed al-Haroub (22).
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF stationed at Mafi Dutan temporary military checkpoint, southwest of Jenin, arrested Basel Mohammed Atatera (17), from the abovementioned village, and took him to an unknown destination.

Thursday, 21 April 2020:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Far’oun village, south of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Abdul Rahman Mohammed Omar’s (17), and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Nahaleen village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Hasan Ibrahim Fanoun (29) and Mohammed No’man Ghayatha, and arrested them. IOF also handed Saif Ahmed Najajera (23) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Ya’bud, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Kareem Kamal Abu Baker (19) and Antar Oqab Nufai’at (20), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF reinforced with 9 military vehicles, moved 100-meters from Abu Safeya Gate, north of the Gaza Strip, to the west of the border fence. They leveled and combed lands that were previously leveled amidst Israeli sporadic shooting. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF arrested Marzouq Hashima (31) while present in al-Wad Street in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. Marzouq was taken to one of the investigation centers in the village.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Deir Samit village, southwest of Hebron Governorate. They raided and searched Ra’fat Nimir Masalma’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Abu Roman area, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Anas Ali al-Najjar’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:20, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Deir Jarir, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Abdul Rahman Mosbah Olwi (21). It should be noted that Olwi is a student at Birzeit University.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles and bulldozers, moved 100-meters from the border fence with Israeli into al-Shouka neighborhood, east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. They leveled and combed lands before they redeployed again at approximately 12:00.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into al-Issaweya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians including a child: Mohammed Awni Ateya (15), Mohammed Omar Ateya (20), and Ahmed Jamal Ateya (24).
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Betounya, al-Jalazoun refugee camp, and Sarda villages in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

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

  1. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
  • At approximately 12:00 on Friday, 17 April 2020, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Froosh Beit Dajan, northeast of Nablus. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Ahmed Ibrahim Banayyat a notice to demolish his 120-square-meter house, that is under construction, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C.
  • At approximately 00:00 on Saturday, 18 April 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into al-‘Ojah village, northeast of Jericho. The soldiers were deployed in the area, where they confiscated Tayseer Mohamed Jaraheed’s truck and bulldozer, under the pretext of working in Area C.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 19 April 2020, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Tiba are, east of Tarqumiyia village, northwest of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers hanged 3 notices on agricultural rooms to stop working under the pretext of non-licensing. The notices were as follows:
  1. ‘Ayed Mohamed Fataftah: stop working in his 50-square-meter agricultural room built of bricks and roofed with tin plates.
  2. Kayed Ahmed Fataftah: stop working in his 60-square-meter agricultural room and its facilities. The room was built of bricks and roofed with concrete.
  3. Tareq Mohamed Zabaniyia: stop working in his 70-square-meter agricultural room and its facilities. The room was built of bricks and roofed with concrete.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 20 April 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Athar area, west of Sabastiyia village, northwest of Nablus. IOF demolish Nael Rizeq Diyab al-Sakha’s 50-square-meter café. On 05 February 2020, IOF handed al-Shakha a demolition notice and gave him until 26 February 2020 to implement the demolition, under the pretext of “illegal construction”. It should be noted that IOF demolished al-Sakha’s café, which was built in the same area 4 years ago.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Mas’ouda area, southwest of Barqah village, northwest of Nablus. IOF demolished Mosheer Suliman Saif’s barrack and livestock barn. It should be noted that on 05 February 2020, IOF hanged a demolition notice on Saif’s 150-square-meter facility and gave him until 26 February 2020 to implement the demolition, under the pretext of “illegal construction”. On 07 March 2019, IOF demolished Saif’s house located in the same area, under the pretext of illegal construction.
  • IOF notified a Palestinian civilian, from Jorat al-Sham’ah village, south of Bethlehem, to demolish his agricultural barrack, under the pretext of non-licensing. Hasan Breijieh, Head of the Bethlehem office of Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission, said that IOF handed Mohamed Ahmed Abu Hammad a notice to demolish his 120-square-meter barrack.
  • On Tuesday, 21 April 2020, IOF notified Saleh Mohamed al-Mahsari to demolish his under-construction house in Um Rokba area in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. Hasan Breijieh, Head of the Bethlehem office of Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission, said that IOF notified al-Mahsari to demolish his 130-square-meter house within 96 hours, under the pretext of non-licensing. Breijieh pointed out that IOF escalated their attacks against Um Rokba area, where many houses are threatened to be demolished and stop construction works in them.
  • At approximately 10:00 on the same day, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Toni village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Jamal Mohamed ‘Issa al-Yateem a notice to stop working in a 40-square-meter residential room, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C.
  1. Israeli Settler Violence
  • At approximately 17:00 on Thursday, 14 April 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Helmish” settlement, which is established on Tal al-Qastal lands in Ramallah, severely beat with sticks ‘Issa ‘Abed al-Ghani Qattash and his brother Mousa, from al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of the city, while present in their agricultural land. As a result, they sustained moderate wounds and bruises and received treatment at Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 20 April 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Karmi Yatsour” settlement, which is established on Beit Ummer village lands, attacked al-Bowirah area, under the IOF protection. The settlers and IOF prevented Slaibi family from reclaiming their land and forced them at gunpoint to leave. It should be noted that al-Bowirah area witnesses recurrent IOF’s attacks, under the pretext of throwing stones at Israeli settlers.
  • Around the same time, at least 15 Israeli settlers, from “‘Adi ‘Ad” settlement, attacked ‘Abed al-Qader ‘Abdullah al-Kouk’s agricultural land in al-Seder area in Termas’iyia village, northeast of Ramallah. The settlers damaged a barbed wire surrounding the land and cut about 22 olive trees planted 5 years ago.
  • Israeli settlers, from “Kodomin” settlement, raided Ahmed ‘Abdullah Barham’s land in Khelet al-Natsh area in Kafur Qaddoum village, north of Qalqilya. The settlers damaged 35 olive trees, uprooted 19 others and broke the twigs of at least 16 trees.
  • On Tuesday, 21 April 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Adi ‘Ad” settlement, attacked Jameel ‘Abdullah Na’san’s agricultural land, under the IOF protection. The settlers cut al least 30 olive trees planted 10 years ago in Abu Lemwas area in al-Moghair village, northeast of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 13:00, two Israeli settlers, from ” Matsi Yaier” settlement outpost, which is established on the confiscated Palestinian lands, east of Yatta, south of Hebron, attacked Jebreel No’man Na’meen (55) while returning with his sheep to his house in Kherbet Qawawees. The settlers stole two sheep and left the area.
  • Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

Israeli authorities declared  that Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing and West Bank Crossings will be opened on 16 April 2020 after closing them for 5 weeks, under the pretext of confronting the fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

  • West Bank:

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the movement of goods and individuals between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. IOF established 10 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 2 of them.

Hebron:

  • On Friday, 17 April 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to al-Dahriyia village, south of Hebron.
  • On Monday, 20 April 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Kharsa and al-Dahiriyia villages.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 16 April 2020, IOF established a checkpoint between ‘Azoun and Kafur al-Thulth villages, east of Qalqilya. The checkpoint was later removed.
  • On Thursday, 16 April 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.
  • On Friday, 17 April 2020, IOF established a checkpoint between ‘Izbet al-Tabeeb and ‘Azoun villages, east of Qalqilya.
  • On Saturday, 18 April 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints between ‘Azoun and Kafur al-Thulth villages, between ‘Azoun and Izbet al-Tabeeb village, and at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.

Tubas:

  • On Thursday, 16 April 2020, IOF stationed at al-Tayasser checkpoint, at the eastern entrance to Tubas, tightened their arbitrary measures against the Palestinian civilians who cross the checkpoint and undergo thorough searches before being allowed to cross.

Jenin:

  • On Sunday, 19 February 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kafereet village, southwest of Jenin.

Nablus:

  • At approximately 17:50 on Sunday, 19 April 2020, IOF closed with sand berms and cement cubes al-Moraba’a intersection, connecting between Nablu and other villages located in south-eastern of Nablus. They also closed the metal detector gate placed on Ma’dama bridge, under al-Moraba’a intersection.
  • On Monday, 20 April 2020, IOF closed ‘Ortah and Hawarah checkpoints at the south-eastern entrance to Nablus, so the only outlet for Nablus southern villages became Yatizhar bypass road and the only entrance to the village became through Dir Sharaf village, the western entrance to Nablus.

‘Justice is Indivisible’: Placing Palestine Back at the Center of Muslim Discourse in the West

Source

May 4, 2020

Times Square, New York in July 2014, during Israeli brutal military attack on Gaza. (Photo: via AMP)

By Ramzy Baroud

It was nearly twenty years ago at a Muslim conference in Washington D.C. that I heard the distressing argument that Palestine should not be made a central topic in the American Muslim political agenda.

The point, which took many by surprise, was enunciated by a young American Pakistani Muslim academic, whose name is not important for my purpose here.

What I found reassuring then, however, was that almost everyone at the gathering shook their head in disagreement. The young academic was clearly an intellectual pariah. It was clear that Muslims, at least the attendees of that specific conference, will not be abandoning their advocacy for the freedom of the Palestinian people anytime soon.

A few months later, the September 11 attacks took place, unleashing a Pandora’s Box of violence, racism, orientalism, and Islamophobia, the outcome of which would continue to be felt for years to come.

A less discussed portion of the American war on Islam and Muslims in the last twenty years is the systematic and centralized attempt at breaking down the American Muslim society. The same can, of course, be said of the anti-Muslim sentiment that flourished in Europe during the West’s wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, and other Muslim countries.

Since then and till today, American Muslims found themselves forced to make bleak choices to avoid media demonization and government persecution.

Some chose to toe the line, in fact, to become an advocate of the very colonial, savage powers that were unleashed against Muslims everywhere – killing, torturing, imprisoning and sanctioning with no regard whatsoever for the very international law that the West itself had fashioned following World War II.

The likes of Hamza Yusuf, formally known as Mark Hanson, was and, perhaps, remains the best example of the so-called ‘pet Muslim’, as he became known due to his collaboration with the George W. Bush regime during the genocidal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The likes of Yusuf became immensely crucial to the American-Western designs in Muslim countries, being the ideal amalgamation between the ‘native informer’ – as a supposedly learned Muslim, although a white person himself – and the typical orientalist – the Western scholar that can be trusted in deciphering and dissecting the Muslim ‘Orient’ to the colonialist West.

According to the Guardian newspaper, Yusuf once told Muslim political dissidents, “If you hate the west, emigrate to a Muslim country”, thus displaying the same racist sentiment often lobbed by far-right chauvinists to anyone who dares question government policies on war, immigration, or anything else.

This very sentiment was repeated by US President, Donald Trump, when he tweeted last July, “In America, if you hate our Country, you are free to leave.”

According to the infinite wisdom of Yusuf and Trump, one can only earn the right to be a fully bonified citizen if one fully abandons one’s right to display any disagreement with one’s government’s policies.

In Yusuf’s shameful thinking, it also follows that a Muslim can never truly be a permanent citizen in any western polity, a sentiment embraced by the very neo-fascist movements that are currently plaguing Europe.

It should come as no surprise, then, that when US Secretary of State and well-known anti-Muslim bigot, Mike Pompeo, announced the formation of the Commission on Unalienable Rights – another platform for political and religious prejudices targeting Trump’s enemies around the world – Yusuf was immediately handpicked to be a member of that commission.

The problem, however, is bigger than a single orientalist. It has become clear that the terrible consequences of September 11 – the bloody wars that followed, and the tragic but predictable backlash of anti-Western militancy in the US, Europe and elsewhere – have, sadly, emasculated mainstream Muslim discourse in Western countries, the US especially.

Once upon a time, every Friday, hundreds of Imams throughout American mosques would breach solidarity with Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Chechnya, and so on. Money would be raised for various organizations that provided aid for victims of wars throughout the Muslim world. In fact, unity around Palestine seemed to bring millions of Muslims together despite their vastly different cultures, classes, and even their very own interpretations of Islam itself.

The outcome of September 11, namely the so-called ‘war on terror’, has changed all of that, imposing a new paradigm and a stark choice on Muslim communities all across the country.

The shutting down of the Holy Land Foundation, because of its support of Palestinian and other victims of Israeli violence, was only the tip of the iceberg. The accounts of many Muslim charities and organizations were drained, while hundreds, if not thousands of well-educated and outspoken Muslim intellectuals were either detained, deported, fired from their jobs or forced into silence by other means.

Sadly, it was the dawn of a new and tragic era where the self-loathing, self-seeking and opportunistic Muslim intellectual peddlers reigned supreme.

It is through this compromising bunch, that Western governments managed to tailor their own version of the ‘good Muslim’, to be juxtaposed with the radical, God-forbid, free-thinking Muslim, unfairly but incessantly seen as a terrorist sympathizer.

I had the displeasure of knowing or learning about many of these ‘good Muslims’ in the last twenty years, who are so keen at claiming the spots at phony ‘interfaith dialogue’ conferences, giddily serving the role of the well-behaved Muslim whenever demanded of them.

For this odd breed of Muslims, Palestine is an obstacle, and Kashmir is a forgotten, wasteland, for their mission is not to advocate on behalf of the oppressed. Instead, they are often used as middlemen who convey the official diktats of governments, states, and city councils to their fellow Muslims. In other words, they become the ‘official’ Muslims, whose agenda is not that of their own community – helping to mobilize, organize and advocate while building solidarity with other marginalized groups – but, as in the case of Yusuf, embracing the agenda of Trump himself.

The problem with these spiritual charlatans is that they feed the misguided view that Muslims can only be either quisling hacks or potential terrorists; that Muslims must be subdued or they become a danger to society; and that Muslims cannot be part of a larger collective of political dissidents who advocate justice and equality in their own society, and the world over.

Currently, at many mosques across the US, Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, and other places of great and perpetual injustice are hardly mentioned. Many shy away even from political advocacy and intersectionality within their own communities. Perhaps, they fear that doing so would place them at the radar of the FBI or local enforcement agencies.

But, what is Islam without justice?

In one Quranic verse (5:8), God says, “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for God, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness”.

The emphasis on justice and the building of communities and nations that stand for what is right is at the core of Islamic values, and neither Mark Hansen nor any other self-proclaimed Muslims can possibly change that.

As for governments that are constantly caricaturing Muslims and Islam to fit their own agendas, they are not doing themselves any favors either, for a strong society is predicated on the freedom of individuals and groups to operate within a legal and democratic framework, with the overriding goal of advancing the interests of the entire nation.

Freedom for Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, as well as the rights of minorities, social justice, gender and racial equality, all go hand-in-hand. No sincere justice advocate, self-respecting scholar, and needless to say, true Muslim, would disagree with the notion that justice is indivisible, a moral doctrine has defined Islam and Muslims for fifteen centuries.

– 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, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Bezalel Smotrich: Israel’s New Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Takes Aim at the Holy Sanctuary

By Miko Peled

Source

Zionism is founded on the idea that Jews today have rights to a land they had not inhabited for thousands of years. These rights supersede the rights of the Palestinians, even though they have been living on that land for thousands of years. Zionists have been so successful in selling this absurd idea, that for over one hundred years, they have been able to destroy Palestine, erase its history, kill and forcibly exile its indigenous population and bring to ruin ancient, iconic monuments that were a vital part of the landscape. The poster child of this idea today is a man by the name of Bezalel Smotrich, the man who is slated to become the new Minister for Jerusalem Affairs.

Smotrich is part of a group that was once considered on the fringe of Israeli politics and which calls for building a Jewish Temple on the site of the Dome of the Rock. No longer fringe, now this group has people like Smotrich in positions of power that threaten the very existence of Jerusalem’s most important religious and historical space, the Holy Sanctuary.

Jerusalem

Anyone who has had the good fortune to visit Jerusalem and walk around the Holy Sanctuary can attest to its beauty and serenity. Bezalel Smotrich is part of a movement that wants to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and, as I described here in an earlier article, build a Temple, where Jewish fanatics will sacrifice animals in rituals whose time has long passed.

According to the status quo that was established after the 1967 occupation of the Old City of Jerusalem, only Muslims are permitted to worship at the Holy Sanctuary. Jews and other non-Muslims are permitted to visit the Sanctuary but not to worship there. However, there is a sect of fanatic Jews who use the loophole that allows them to visit in order to bring tens of thousands of their followers into the sanctuary as a provocation. It is worthy to note that Jewish law also strictly prohibits Jews from entering the Sanctuary.

In 2019, on the Jewish day of Tisha B’av, the day in which according to Jewish tradition the Temple was destroyed, Israeli security services recommended that Jews be prohibited from entering the Holy Sanctuary altogether. That was because that day coincided with the Muslim holy day of Eid. Smotrich and his supporters were outraged, and pressure from the right flank of the Netanyahu government was mounting. Being a member of the security cabinet he acted swiftly and in the end, was able to lift the prohibition.

The government succumbed to the pressure, Jewish fanatics were permitted to go into the sanctuary and the usual provocation ensued. Riots broke out as a result of this, in which countless Palestinians were injured and arrested.

“If I were Prime Minister I would close the Temple Mount to Arabs and immediately build a synagogue for Jews to pray there,” Smotrcihc said in an interview in July 2017. In May 2018 he posted a video showing young Jewish fanatics with the Israeli flag in the Holy Sanctuary. He wrote, “Very soon our flag will be raised on our Temple, on the Temple Mount.” He congratulated the young fanatics who were in the video, saying, “I congratulate you on your display of courage and national pride.”

In a debate Smotrich had with Palestinian Knesset member Masoud Ghnaim, Smotrich said that Ghnaim should show gratitude for being a guest in Israel. Then he boasted that the Jewish Temple will be built on the site of the Dome of the Rock.

A Rising Star

In recent years, Smotrich has become somewhat of the “right-wing darling” of the Israeli media. Well spoken, youthful looking and reasonable sounding even as he spews vicious lies and racist epithets. Smotrich was born in a settlement in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and then his family moved to the West Bank where he was educated in fanatic, racist educational institutions that disseminate an ideology known as “Religious Zionism.”

It is a toxic combination of religion and fascism that received a boost after the 1967 war. This education system created fanatic, violent gangs that have been terrorizing Palestinians in the West Bank since 1967. They also created effective political movements that have greatly influenced and indeed shaped Israeli politics. Smotrich himself was arrested for his role in the violent protests trying to stop Israel’s 2005 unilateral withdrawal and removal of settlers from the Gaza Strip.

Bezalel Smotrich court

In 2006 Smotrich was among the founders of the Regavim organization. It is a racist organization of gangsters who are dedicated to terrorizing Palestinians. They have been particularly aggressive in displacing Palestinians in the Naqab, in the southern part of Palestine, and in what is known as Area C in the West Bank.

Smotrich rose through the ranks of various neo-fascist Zionist political movements and in 2015 was elected to the Knesset. In 2018 Twitter temporarily suspended his account after he tweeted that he was sorry Ahed Tamimi was arrested and not shot. Since June of 2019, he has served in the Israeli government as minister of Transportation, one of the largest portfolios in the government, and, what is perhaps more disturbing, he is a member of the government’s inner circle “security cabinet.”

A Decisive Plan

Smotrich, whose name and family come from a small town in Ukraine with no historical ties to Palestine, sees no problem saying that Palestinians have no historical claims to their land. “Palestinians are not a nation,” Smotrich said in a speech at an Israeli high school, reminding his young audience that Zionist icons like Golda Meir said so too. “According to any definition of nationhood, Palestinian are no more than just Arabs.” He tells the students that the Palestinians “have no unique common history, culture, language or heritage. They came here after we made this country prosperous.”

Smotrich is known for a plan he devised to resolve the Israeli Palestinian conflict. He calls it “The Decisive Plan.” Both he and his plan are mere reincarnations of the slain Meir Kahane and his ideology. Kahane was, and continues to be, the spiritual and political guru of violent, racist Jewish gangs like Smotrich’s that became known as the West Bank “Settlers.” Smotrich himself was raised on Kahane’s doctrine and he repeats it, though he is careful to give it his own “reasonable” tone.

“There can never be an equitable resolution to the Arab Jewish conflict,” he claims as he softens his audience with a litany of reasonable sounding lies based on fiction and mythology which he refers to as history. “We didn’t start the 1967 war, they did!” he explains, though clearly the Palestinians had no say or participation in that war. “At Oslo, we gave them everything, and they rejected it,” referring to the Oslo Accords which brought further disaster to Palestinians.

These claims, that he makes with a voice that is quiet and reasonable and peppered with “God willing, and Thank God,” are just the preamble. “I want to offer you, and your friends and your children, real peace, real security, and real coexistence.” He warns them, however, that this peace means “one side will have to give up on their national aspirations.” However, it is not going to be him, because “we are right and they are wrong, this land belongs to us, right?” and the audience responds by clapping, affirming his claim.

“Palestinian terrorism is fueled by the hope that they might be successful someday.” According to Smotrich, nipping the hope for national aspirations for the Arabs in the Land of Israel is how we eliminate terrorism. “We must burn into them the awareness that there will never be an Arab state west of the Jordan River and that Judea and Samaria will forever be part of Israel,” he says to applause.

“Any Arabs who give up their national aspirations will be allowed to live here and enjoy the great wealth that we created in this land.” Smotrich’s plan offers several other options, “they can go to the Arab countries or join the Muslim occupation of Europe.”  He says Europe is allowing the destruction of its own identity by allowing unchecked Muslim and Arab immigration for the sake of cheap labor. “We need to develop a plan to create immigration of choice.” And, he says, “The only ones to remain will be people who accept the state of Israel as a Jewish State.”

Smotrich says his plan is hard to grasp because it is out of the box. He must have forgotten that  Nazis and other violent, supremacist regimes had rational reasons and even created laws that made their crimes against humanity seem legitimate.

Three Choices

The Smotrich plan offers three possibilities for the Palestinians: incentivized emigration, remaining without rights, or to fight and die.

According to Smotrich, “There is nothing in common between the Nablusi Arab and the Hebronite Arab,” and therefore all they really need are municipal rights, which he says he is happy to give them. However, he clarifies, “I will not give them the right to vote for the national parliament.” He admits, modestly, “This plan may suffer from a “democratic deficiency,” but that’s ok because “life isn’t perfect and there are no perfect solutions.”

“There is no better plan, no plan that is morally superior to this, and no plan that is better suited for us.” If we “burn” in their consciousness that they will never achieve their national aspirations, then most of the Arabs will be reasonable enough to choose to leave or remain to live their lives with us. There will always be those who decide to bang their heads against the wall and they will pay a heavy price for fighting.”

The alarm regarding the destruction of the Holy Sanctuary should have been sounded long ago. Thankfully, it has not yet been destroyed and the Temple which Smotrich and his fellow fanatics want to build in its place, although it is in the advanced planning stages, has not yet been built. Much of Arab Palestine, and indeed Jerusalem, has already been destroyed, there will be no recourse once Smotrich, the designated Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, takes power and gets his hands on the Holy Sanctuary.

Israel Prepares for Annexation of the West Bank

By Jeremy Salt

Source

Netanyha Gantz b3bd0

Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, Israel and its global lobbies have had an extraordinary run of success.

In the US and Canada, the passage of laws against the BDS movement; US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the shifting of the embassy there; the appointment of an ambassador who is no more than Israel’s point man in Washington; the Kushner plan and US acceptance of Israeli annexation of the West Bank; and in the UK, the defeat of Jeremy Corbyn, partly if not largely based on  a slanderous campaign launched against the Labor Party generally and Corbyn personally.

This was the most malicious political assassination in British history, with the corporate media and the zionist lobby driving in the knives day after day. The main Jewish newspapers had already maligned Corbyn in the same front page editorial when the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, used the Corbyn-hating Times to attack Corbyn as “mendacious” and to plant fear amongst British Jews: “What will become of Jews and Judaism in Britain if the Labor Party forms the next government?” Nothing would happen, of course, not to British Jews, but there would be significant changes affecting Britain’s relations with the racist settler enterprise it established in Palestine more than a century ago.

These attacks were not about Judaism but Israel. Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-semite. This is so obvious that it should not need saying. The false charge of anti-semitism is the weapon used by zionists throughout modern history to destroy critics of Israel and here it was being used again.

Had Corbyn expressed undying support for Israel – as Keir Starmer has since done –  this issue would never have arisen.  Jews inside and outside the Labor Party would have issued statements that while there were bad apples in every barrel,  anti-semitism was a minor issue which the party leadership was dealing with. They would not have hesitated to canvass votes for the Labor Party.

Corbyn has a lifelong record of defending human rights everywhere and that includes the human rights of the Palestinians. Had he been elected he would have re-orientated foreign policy in their favor. That had to be prevented at all costs and the accusation of anti semitism was the weapon used,  on the grounds that repeated often enough people would believe it.

Thus a good man with good policies was thrown aside and a buffoon with no policies installed in his place. In time, once they realize they were duped, the British people may remember the knifing of Corbyn by the zionists.

Now Israel is moving on to its next success, the annexation of the West Bank. This is due to begin on July 1, Netanyahu and Gantz having agreed on its fundamentals and the US ready to rubber-stamp whatever portion of territory they decide to take.

Initially, this seems to be 30 percent plus the Jordan Valley. The 70 percent ostensibly left to the Palestinians will mostly consist mostly of rural land running alongside the border with Jordan.

The Trump-Kushner  ‘peace’ plan was deliberately written to be unacceptable to the Palestinians, all of them, including the now-embittered Mahmud Abbas. His ‘threats’ to rip up all accords if they go ahead is no more than the squeaking of a rusty wheel. He used the zionists and they used him. Now he has been discarded, Mahmud Abbas is of no relevance to anyone.

In the soundings he would have taken before his plan was released,  Kushner would have known perfectly well that the Palestinians would never accept it. No capital in Jerusalem, disarmament in Gaza as well as on the West Bank, Israel in charge of ‘security’ and all borders, no right of return, no more legal claims against Israel on the basis of history, no independent foreign policy, no joining of any international organization except with Israel’s approval, no more payments to the families of martyrs (Israel’s ‘terrorists’) and the acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state.  This was the price demanded of the Palestinians in return for their ‘state’ and as Kushner well knew, they could not possibly pay it.  His plan was designed from the start to be rejected by the Palestinians.

Even if they had accepted this ‘deal’ every loophole had been inserted into it to make sure  Israel ultimately gets what it wants  – all of the West Bank – anyway.  This situation,  of an offer they could not possibly accept,  is one imposed on them throughout their modern history.  When they reject what they cannot possibly accept, whether it be the Peel partition plan of 1937, the UN partition plan of 1947, the establishment of Israel on their land in 1948 or  the Camp David plan of the 1990s,  it is they who are made to shoulder the blame for the failure of the latest ‘peace process.’ If there is a difference now, it is that the Kushner-Trump-Netanyahu plan is so transparently shoddy that anyone with eyes in their head can see right through it.

With increasing portions of the West Bank annexed, under the false sovereignty of an occupying power, the Palestinians will eventually be outnumbered by the settlers poured into their land.  This is the script being written by Netanyahu and his cohorts. A racist parliament will endorse it and even more pseudo-legal and practical obstacles will be raised to make life even more unbearable for the Palestinians.

This is a heinous plan, a plan devoid of any legality, a plan cooked up by criminals and charlatans. The zionists may see it as the end of the road but this is a long war and annexation is no more than another milestone in the struggle against the takeover of Palestine by European colonists in the 20th century.

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Palestine(09 – 15 April 2020)

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (09 – 15 April 2020)

By PCHR

Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory

09 – 15 April 2020

  • IOF raids into oPt: a dangerous vulnerability in Palestinian preventive measures to combat the spread of coronavirus
  • Israeli occupation authorities impede Palestinian efforts to combat coronavirus in occupied East Jerusalem; and threatens public safety by allowing workers to return to the West Bank without prior coordination
  • Real threats arise on the lives of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails within the coronavirus pandemic
  • 3 Palestinian civilians sustained wounds, including a worker in Qalqilya and 2 fishermen in Gaza
  • 3 children wounded after a device left by IOF in Hebron exploded
  • 11 shootings reported against agricultural lands and 5 at Palestinian fishing boats in eastern and western Gaza Strip
  • During 26 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem: 26 civilians arrested, including 3
  • Construction vehicle confiscated under pretext of operating in area C in Nablus
  • Settlers attacks in the West Bank: 2 children wounded, trees and lands sabotaged, and 2 tents erected
  • IOF established 13 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and put roadblocks; 5 civilians were arrested at IOF checkpoints

Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to violate Palestinians’ human rights and commit crimes against civilians and their properties, conducting raids into Palestinian cities without regard to the state of emergency declared across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) since 06 March 2020, in the efforts put forward to combat the spread of coronavirus. IOF raids are conducted without proper attention to prevention and safety standards to mitigate the risk of transmitting coronavirus to Palestinian territory, as the virus is widespread throughout Israel. PCHR’s concerns over Israeli raids still stand, as those raids undermine preventive measures adopted by the government. Meanwhile, settlers backed up by IOF continued to seize more civilian property and attack civilians and their property. Furthermore, PCHR expresses its concern over the Israeli occupation’s policy of banning any preventive measures by the Palestinian Authority in occupied East Jerusalem, especially that Israel has adopted lenient measures in the city despite its responsibility for it under international law as an occupying power. PCHR has also been increasingly wary of Palestinian prisoners’ situation in Israeli jails under the coronavirus pandemic; instead of adopting the necessary measures to protect inmates from the pandemic, Israeli authorities have adopted a number of measures that further violate prisoners’ rights. PCHR reiterates its calls for the Israeli authorities to urgently and immediately adopt the necessary measures for the protection of Palestinian prisoners from COVID-19, and calls for immediate release of all imprisoned patients, elderlies, women, and children.

This week, PCHR documented 71 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.  The restrictions imposed under the state of emergency have hindered our fieldwork team’s ability to cover all incidents in the oPt and were forced to collect information via phone from trusted local sources. As such, this report is an incomprehensive record of Israeli violations of human rights against Palestinians in the oPt, as IOF continues its attacks against civilians despite the exceptional circumstances that have overcome the whole world in the face of a life-threatening viral pandemic.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: 3 Palestinian civilians were shot and wounded by IOF; 1 during suppression of civilians at Qalqilya; and 2 fishermen in Gaza. Also, 3 children sustained wounds as a suspicious device left by IOF exploded in Hebron. IOF opened fire 5 times during raids into the West Bank; 11 shootings against the agricultural lands eastern Gaza Strip while 5 shootings were reported against Palestinian fishing boats off the northern Gaza Strip shore.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 26 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, 26 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 children. Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, IOF arrested 3 young Palestinians while attempting to cross into Israel through the border fence area in Rafah; they were released after investigation.

Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: IOF continued its settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented the confiscation of a construction vehicle in Beit Dojon village, northeast of Nablus, under the pretext of working in area C.

PCHR also documented 8 settler attacks: sabotaging olive trees seedlings in Ain Qesis, al-Khader village, southern Bethlehem; raids into Palestinian cities and neighbourhoods and a settlers’ tent erected in Salfit; 2 children assaulted an a settlers’ tent erected in Hebron; sewer water pumped into Bethlehem lands; and olive trees cut in Nablus.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

For the fifth consecutive week, Israeli authorities continued to impose restrictions on Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing and West Bank Crossings under the pretext of confronting the fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

IOF continued to impose closure declared on Wednesday 08 April 2020, on the pretext of the Jewish Passover holiday. Israeli authorities stated that the closure that has already been imposed on the Palestinian areas will remain the same, as entry through the crossings will be allowed only for exceptional humanitarian cases and urgent medical cases.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities still continued to impose restrictions on Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing, except humanitarian cases would be allowed to pass through the crossing. Concerning Karem Abu Salem  (Kerem Shalom) Crossing, the crossing will be operated on a limited scale.

Also, Israeli authorities closed Erez Crossing on Wednesday and Thursday, 08/09 April 2020, and on Tuesday and Wednesday, 14/15 April 2020.

This comes in a time when 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. Furthermore, IOF uses Erez Crossing that is designated for movement of individuals as an ambush to arrest Palestinians who obtain permits to exit via Israel.

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. Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity
  1. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
  • At approximately 07:50 on Thursday, 09 April 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen Obai Adel Mohammed Jarbou’a (21) and Ahmed Abdul Fattah Ahmed al-Shurafi (23), from al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, were shot with several rubber bullets throughout their bodies. They were transferred to the Indonesian Hospital and their injuries were classified.
  • At approximately 19:00 on the same Thursday, IOF moved into Abu Tayeh neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a number of commercial shops and imposed a fine on their owners, claiming that they violated the Israeli government orders within combating the spread of coronavirus. When IOF raided a shop owned by Mahmoud Wa’el Abu Tayeh, the soldiers quarreled with him, so they heavily beat him. In the meantime, dozens of Palestinian young men attempted to protect Abu Tayeh, but Israeli soldiers  heavily fired live bullets and sound bombs in the air to disperse them. Israeli soldiers also arrested 4 young men after they beat them and they were identified as: Ala’a Tawfiq Abu Tayeh (22),his brother Ahmed (19), Mahmoud Wa’el Abu Tayeh (37) and his brother Mohammed.
  • At approximately 13:20 on Friday, 10 April 2020, IOF stationed at the eastern entrance established at lands of Kafer Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian young men participated, to demand opening the eastern street, which has been closed since 2003. IOF chased the young men, who gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. They received medical treatment by the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) crews. Several live bullets hit a water tank on house’s roof of Asem Kamal ‘Aqel, causing its damage.
  • At approximately 15:00 on the same Friday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah, opened fire at agricultural lands. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 23:20 on the same Friday, IOF stationed along the border fence, south of Qalqilya, fired tear gas canisters at the Palestinian security services units and the emergency crews while they were watching water ferries to control the movement of workers from the West Bank to Israel after IOF opened them within the spread of corona virus  under fears it would be used to smuggle workers.
  • At approximately 08:20 on Saturday, 11 April 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah, opened fire at agricultural lands and Palestinian farmers. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 09:30 on the same Saturday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Maghazi, opened fire at agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:40 on the same Saturday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired tear gas canisters at a group of Palestinian farmers, east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Sunday, 12 April 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza strip, fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’a and Abasan villages, adjacent to the border fence. The shooting continued at 11:30 on the morning, east of Abasan village; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00 on the same Sunday, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. The shooting recurred at 22:25 on the same day; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:15 on the same Sunday, IOF stationed along the border fence, north of the Agriculture School, north of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at the border area, adjacent to the border fence. As a result, Palestinian shepherds and a number of farmers, whose lands are near the border area, panicked. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 00:45 on the same Sunday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Maghazi, opened fire at agricultural lands and Palestinian farmers. The shooting continued sporadically until 18:00 on the same day. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 14:30 on the same Sunday, IOF stationed along the border fence, north of Qalqiliyah, fired rubber bullets and sound bombs at a 22-year-old Palestinian young man, adjacent to Qalqiliyah, when he attempted to enter Israel for work. As a result, he was shot and injured with 3 rubber bullets in his right leg. The young man was transferred via a PRCS ambulance to the governmental hospital in Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 20:00 on the same Sunday, IOF moved into Obeid neighborhood, west of al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They deployed between houses and checked the residents’ ID cards. In the meantime, a number Palestinian young men protested and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers while the latter responded with sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. They received medical treatment on the field.
  • At approximately 06:30 on Monday, 13 April 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boat sailing within the allowed fishing area ( 2 – 3 nautical miles). IOF also pumped water at the boats. The attack continued from time to time until 09:55 on the same day. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:30 on the same Monday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of al-Qararah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 16:00 on the same Monday, 3 Palestinian children, from Bani Dar neighborhood, southeast of Hebron, sustained various wounds due to the explosion of a suspicious object from the remnants left by the Israeli forces, when the children were grazing sheep in the area. The wounded children identified as: Jamal Fares Jamal al-Badawai (13), Riyad Fares Jamal al-Badawi (16),a dn Mohammed Bilal Arafat Abu Turki (17), were transferred to the governmental hospital in Hebron.
  • At approximately 17:40 on the same Monday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 06:30 on Tuesday, 13 April 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (2 – 3 nautical miles), the stack continued sporadically until 07:50 on the same day. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:30 on Tuesday, 14 April 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Shokah village, east of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and flare bombs when 3 Palestinian young men attempted to sneak into Israel. IOF later declared that they arrested the 3 young men after they sneaked into Israel. IOF questioned the 3 young men and then released them.
  1. Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 09 April 2020:

  • IOF carried out an incursion in Qalqilya. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 10 April 2020:

  • At approximately 10:50, IOF moved into Kafr Qadoum, northeast of Qalqilya, and re-stormed it again at approximately 08:50, setting ambushes for the purpose of arresting civilians before the starting of the weekly march. No arrests were reported.
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Ein Qinya, northwest of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 11 April 2020:

  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into Nahalin village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Taha Fannoun’s (23) house and arrested him. Mayor of Nahalin, Subhi Zaidan, said that IOF arrested Mohammad Taha Fannoun, who suffers from difficulties in pronunciation, after raiding his house in the Nahalin. Zaidan also stated that the IOF deliberately spit on the ground and walls during the raid.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Issaweya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Deya’ Ayman Obaid’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint in the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the Central Hebron’s Old City, arrested Mahdi Mohammed Abu Snaina (19). IOF claimed that Mahdi did not obey to the IOF’s orders. Mahdi was released after hour and a half.
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, south of Jericho. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 14 April 2020:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mo’aweya Abdul Latif Ridwan (25), and Mahmoud Nidal Salim (24), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Beit Ummer, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Baha’ Ra’ed Ekhlaiel’s (17) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 17:10, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint near Azoun village, east of Qalqilya, and arrested Wajdi Tawfiq al-Jayyousi (29), from Tulkarm. IOF took Wajdi to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF moved into the agricultural lands of Um al-Mawaker, west of Salfit. They arrested ‘Ameer Azzam Aziz Mar’i (22) and his brother Abdulah (24), and confiscated their mobile phones and ID cards, claiming that they were working in an agricultural land belonging to the State of Israel. IOF released them later.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into Betin village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Karam Hashem Zain al-Deen, and Mohammed ayman Taher (22).

Monday, 13 April 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Karkafa neighborhood, in Bethlehem. They raided and searched Shadi Mohammed Hasasna’s (34) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Zawata village, west of Nablus. They raided and searched Ahmed Ateya Mousa’s (32) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:10, IOF moved into Betounya, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Ibrahim Naser Abu Radaha’s (27) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:40, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into al-Beira. They stormed two houses in Um al-Sharayet and Sateh Marhaba neighborhoods, and arrested two civilians; one of them is a member of the Legislative Council dissolved by the authority. The arrestees are: Mohammed Hasan Abu Tair (69) and Abdul Jawad Omar Hamayel (30).
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF stationed at Salem detention center, west of Jenin, arrested Suhaib Nasr Jarrar (31) from Barqin village, west of Jenin. IOF arrested him after the Israeli Intelligence Services summonsed him. It should be noted that IOF arrested Suhaib 3 times before and spent several years in the Israeli prisons. Furthermore, IOF killed his father and brother.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020:

  • At approximately 04:40, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Beira, they raided and searched two houses in Sateh Marhaba neighborhood and arrested Omar Abu al-Rab (27), and Lo’ay al-Sho’la (25).
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF stationed at the border fence, east of Faqou’a village, northeast of Jenin, arrested Mohammed Jamil Abu Khamees (32), and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 18:20, IOF stationed at the border fence northwest of Tawra village, southwest of Jenin, arrested two children; Abdul Rahmad Mo’ayad Qabha (15) and Aysar Muthanna Qabha (13), and took them to an unknown destination. At approximately 21:50, the two children were released after the intervention of the Palestinian liaison.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched the house of the Secretary of Fatah Movement, Ahmed al-Abbasi (53), and handed his family a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Ouz” police station, southeast of Jerusalem.

al-Abbasi said that the Israeli Intelligence Services phone called him and ordered him to refer immediately to the Barid police station on Salah al-Deen Street. While he was on his way he informed that IOF stormed his house and left a summons for him to refer to “Ouz” police station, southeast of Jerusalem. IOF investigated with him about the establishing of the Coronavirus medical center which is funded by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Silwan. Al-Abbasi also was interrogated for his interview with a Palestinian channel where he talked about the efforts of the Palestinian Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in the occupied East Jerusalem. Al-Abbasi added that IOF released him next day at approximately 04:30, in condition of banning him from leaving his house for 5 days, and signed a bail of (5000NIS) and cut the connections of the emergency committees in the city. After a few hours of releasing him, IOF re-summonsed him for investigation and forced him to pay bail of (500) NIS claiming that he was present in the medical center which is funded by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Ein Silwan Mosque yard, the place which the emergency committee specified to Coronavirus checkup, which is funded by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

IOF carried out (3) incursions in Kharbet Bani Hareth, Badrs, and Shabtin, in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

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

  • Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 15 April 2020, IOF accompanied with a military SUV moved into Beit Dajan village, northeast of Nablus. They confiscated a bulldozer belonging to Yousef Sari Yousef Nasasrah (58), from Beit Foreek village, while working in ‘Adel Abu Helwan’s land, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. IOF forced Nasasrah at gunpoint to drive the bulldozer toward “Makhoura” settlement in northern Jordan Valley and allowed him to leave later.

Israeli Settler Violence

  • On Sunday, 12 April 2020, Israeli settlers broke olive seedlings in ‘Ain Qisees lands in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. Hasan Breijieh, Head of the Bethlehem office of Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission, said that settlers broke at least 50 olive seedlings from Safi al-Deen Mohamed Da’dou’s land. Breijieh pointed out that since the beginning of the emergency state declared in Bethlehem, Israeli settlers  escalated their attacks against Palestinian farmers and their properties as they damaged hundreds of trees and seedlings in  the lands of al-Khader, Wadi Fokeen, Hosan and Wadi Rahaal villages.
  • At approximately 20:00, three settlers attacked and pepper-sprayed Samour (16) and Wajeh (17) al-Rajbi while they were playing in al-Salayimah neighborhood in Hebron’s Old City. Both of them were taken to Mohamed ‘Ali al-Mohtaseb Hospital. In the meantime, Palestinian young men gathered to confront the settlers, so IOF closed a fence surrounded al-Salayimah and Ghaith neighborhoods.
  • At approximately 14:30, Israeli settlers drove their vehicles and attempted to enter Qarawet Bani Hassan village lands, west of Salfit. Meanwhile, members of the village protection committee and Palestinian farmers intercepted them.
  • On Monday, 13 April 2018, Israeli settlers, from “Gush Etizon” settlement, south of Bethlehem, pumped wastewater at agricultural lands planted with grape vines in Wadi Shakheet, east of Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. As a result, farmers suffered financial losses and their lands sustained material damage. It should noted that it was the second time that the settlers pumped wastewater at dunums belonging to Bahar and Sabarna families.
  • At approximately 17:00, settlers, from “Borkheen” settlement, attacked Kafur al-Deek village, west of Salfit. They set up tents on ‘Abed al-Hameed Suliman ‘Ali Ahmed’s land and withdrew at 20:50.
  • At approximately 19:00, four settlers attempted to move into Qirah village, north of Salfit. The village emergency committee intercepted them before handing them to IOF at 22:30 through the Palestinian Liaison office.
  • At approximately 20:00, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian lands in Tal al-Ramidah neighborhood. The settlers set up tents near Youth against Settlement Center, which is surrounded by “Ramati Yashi” settlement. When the village residents intervened to prevent them, IOF infantry unit moved into the area, dispersed the settlers and removed the tents.
  • At approximately 08:15 on Tuesday, 14 April 2020, Palestinian farmer Mahmoud Rateb Mahmoud Hussain, from Qaryout village, southeast of Nablus, headed to his plot of land (42 dunums) in Khela area to plow it, upon a prior security coordination with the Israeli authorities. When Hussain entered his land, he was shocked to find that 12 Roman olive trees were cut from the root and their stems confiscated, rs 2 days ago. It should be noted that Hussain is allowed to visit his land 6 days a year to harvest the crops and plow it, upon the security coordination.
  • Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

For the fifth consecutive week, Israeli authorities continued to impose restrictions on Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing and West Bank Crossings under the pretext of confronting the fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. These restrictions were declared on Wednesday ,11 March 2020, and still continued, except humanitarian cases would be allowed to pass through the crossing.

IOF continued to impose closure declared on Wednesday 08 April 2020, on the pretext of the Jewish Passover holiday. Israeli authorities stated that the closure that has already been imposed on the Palestinian areas will remain the same, as entry through the crossings will be allowed only for exceptional humanitarian cases and urgent medical cases.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities still continued to impose restrictions on Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing, except humanitarian cases would be allowed to pass through the crossing. Concerning Karem Abu Salem  (Kerem Shalom) Crossing, the crossing will be operated on a limited scale.

Also, Israeli authorities closed Erez Crossing on Wednesday and Thursday, 08/09 April 2020, and on Tuesday and Wednesday, 14/15 April 2020.

West Bank:

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the movement goods and individuals between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. IOF established 13 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 5 of them, including 2 children.

Hebron:

  • At approximately 09:00 on Saturday, 11 February 2020, IOF closed with metal detector gate the entrance to Bani Na’iem village, east of Hebron. As a result, the residents were forced to access their homes through dirt and long roads.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOD established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ethna village, west of Hebron.
  • At approximately 17:00 on Sunday, 12 April 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of al-Saheb area, south of Hebron.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Monday, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beit ‘Awaa village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron.
  • In evening, IOF closed with cement cubes the entrance to Zeef village, north of Hebron.
  • On Wednesday, 15 April 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Ethna village and on a road connecting between Beit ‘Omrah and Karma villages.

Tulkarm:

  • On Monday, 13 April 2020, IOF stationed at ‘Inab military checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, tightened their measures and obstructed vehicles movement.
  • On the same day, IOF stationed at ‘Izbit Shofa military checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, tightened their measures, obstructed vehicles movement and photographed their registration plates.

Salfit:

  • On Saturday, 11 April 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Dir Ballout village, north of Salfit.
  • On Monday, 13 April 2020, IOF established a checkpoint between Rafat and Dir Balout villages, west of Salfit. At approximately 22:30, IOF re-established the checkpoint, but no arrests were reported.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 09 April 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Nabi Saleh and Dir Abu Mish’al villages.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 09 April 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to the settlement St.90 in the center of al-‘Awja village.
  • On Saturday, 10 April 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of al-Jeftlik village, north of the city.

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine 26 March – 1 April 2020

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Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestine

26 March – 1 April 2020

  • IOF raids into oPt continue in stark disregard for cautionary measures to combat Coronavirus, which has spread in Israel
  • Palestinian civilian succumbs to wounds sustained in IOF shooting in Nablus
  • 4 Palestinian civilians sustained wounds, including 3 in the West Bank and 1 fisherman in Gaza
  • shootings reported against agricultural lands and 4 at Palestinian fishing boats in eastern and western Gaza Strip
  • During 60 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem: 32 civilians arrested, including 7 children.
  • Limited incursion into northern Gaza Strip
  • 3 under-construction houses bulldozed in Jenin, property confiscated including 8 tents, 4 which used as a clinic and a mosque in the Northern Valley
  • 2 Palestinians wounded and shepherds assaults by settlers in Hebron
  • IOF established 11 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, and roads blocked with sand berms

Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to violate Palestinians’ human rights and commit crimes against civilians and their properties, conducting raids into Palestinian cities without regard to the state of emergency declared across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) in the efforts put forward to combat the spread of Coronavirus. PCHR is concerned that Israeli raids undermine preventive measures adopted by the government. Meanwhile, settlers backed up by IOF continued to seize more civilian property and attack civilians and their property. 

This week, PCHR documented 98 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.  As the state of emergency enters its 4th week, as well as the extreme Israeli restrictions on movement of individuals, have hindered our fieldwork team’s ability to cover all incidents in the oPt and were forced to collect information via phone from trusted local sources. As such, this report is an incomprehensive record of Israeli violations of human rights against Palestinians in the oPt, as IOF continues its attacks against civilians despite the exceptional circumstances that have overcome the whole world in the face of a life-threatening viral pandemic. 

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: on 01 April 2020, Islam Abdulghani Dwaikat (21) succumbed to wounds he sustained in IOF shooting against civilians protesting at al-‘Arma Mountain in Nablus on 11 March 2020. Also, this week 4 Palestinian civilians were shot and wounded by IOF, 3 in the West Bank and a fisherman in Gaza. 

In the Gaza Strip, 8 shootings by IOF were reported against the agricultural lands in the southern and central Gaza Strip while 4 shootings were reported against Palestinian fishing boats off the northern Gaza Strip shore. No injuries were reported. 

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 50 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, 32 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 children.  Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted a limited incursion into northern Gaza Strip. 

Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: PCHR documented 11 IOF operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: bulldozing and burying a water well in Tubas, demolition of a water well and 2 agricultural rooms in Salfit; evacuation notice for Um Al-Khair pasture reservoir, eastern Yatta, southern Hebron; a barracks demolished, confiscation of property and 8 tents, some used as clinics and a mosque in the Northern Valley; uprooting and confiscation of 300 olive seedlings; notice to halt work at a barracks; evacuation of a land and removal of a tent, and notice to halt construction at a house in Hebron; a notice to halt construction at an agricultural room and a cement wall in Tulkarm; and 3 under-construction houses demolished in Jenin under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area (C). 

PCHR also documented 3 settler attacks: assaulting civilians and shepherds in Hebron. 

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement: Israeli authorities continued to impose restrictions on Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing and West Bank Crossings under the pretext of confronting the fast-spreading Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. These restrictions were declared on Wednesday, 11 March 2020, and still continued, except humanitarian cases that would be allowed to pass through the crossing. This comes in a time when 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. Furthermore, IOF uses Erez Crossing that is designated for movement of individuals as an ambush to arrest Palestinians who obtain permits to exit via Israel. 

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. Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity 
  • At approximately 06:30 on Thursday, 26 March 2020, IOF gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the limited fishing area ( 2 – 3 nautical miles). The shooting recurred from time to time until 09:00 on the same As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported. 
  • At approximately 07:45 on the same Thursday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis opened fire at agricultural lands, in eastern Abasan village, east of Khan Younis, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported. 
  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 27 March 2020, IOF stationed at the entrance to Kafer Qaddoum village, east of Qalqiliyah, fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at a group of Palestinian civilians, who gathered in the area. As a result, a 50-year-old civilian was shot and injured with a rubber bullet in his right leg. 
  • At approximately 14:00 on the same Friday, IOF soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands, west of the border fence; no casualties were reported. 
  • At approximately 14:40 on the same Friday, IOF stationed at “Eyal” Checkpoint, north of Qalqiliyah, fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians, claiming that they were stoned; no casualties were reported. 
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the limited fishing area (2 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported. 
  • At approximately 17:20, IOF stationed at the annexation wall gate, adjacent to Qifin village, north of Tulkarm, fired rubber  bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians who were in the area, claiming they were stoned. No casualties were reported. 
  • At approximately 12:00 on Saturday, 08 March 2020, IOF gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the limited fishing area (3 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported. 
  • At approximately 18:00 on the same Saturday, IOF moved into Kafer Qadoum village, east of Qalqiliyah. In the meantime, a number of Palestinian children gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles and the latter responded with live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, an 18-year-old civilian was hit with a live bullet shrapnel in the right hand and a 20-year-old civilian was shot with a rubber bullet in the left hand. IOF also arrested 2 brothers namely: Islam (14) and Laith Abdul Rahman Ali (17). 
  • At approximately 23:00 on the same Saturday, IOF moved into al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and stationed in Dari neighborhood in the center of the village. A number of Palestinian young men and youngsters gathered and threw stones, fireworks and Molotov Cocktails at IOF soldiers. As a result, 2 Israeli military vehicles caught fire. An Israeli force immediately moved into the neighborhood, fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters and clashed with civilians. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. IOF arrested Aiham Basem Dari (32) before they withdrew from e the village. 
  • At approximately 06:00 on Sunday, 29 March 2020, IOF gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the limited fishing area ( 3 nautical miles). As a result, fisherman Khalil Mohsen Khalil Abu Ryalah (25), from al-Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City, was shot with a rubber bullet in his face. IOF also confiscated fishing nets (15 piece) of fisherman Mahmoud Khalil Abu Ryala’s (33) boat. The shooting made fishermen fear, so they sailed back to the shore. No  casualties were reported. 
  • At approximately 17:00 on the same Sunday, IOF moved into Obeid neighborhood, west of al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a number of houses. In the meantime, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF soldiers. Israeli soldiers indiscriminately fired tear gas canisters in the area. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and they received medical treatment on the field. IOF also arrested Yazan Omran Obeid (23) and Taha Ayesh Obeid (21). 
  • At approximately 17:50 on the same Sunday, IOF stationed along the annexation wall, adjacent to Shuweikah village, east of Tulkarm, fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at a group of Palestinian civilians who were in the area, claiming they were stoned. No casualties were reported. 
  • At approximately 22:00 on the same Sunday, IOF moved into al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and stationed at the western entrance to the village. They established a temporary checkpoint in and searched civilians’ vehicles before allowing them to enter the village. A number of Palestinian young men and children gathered at the entrance to Obeid neighborhood, west of the village, and threw stones, fireworks and Molotov Cocktails at IOF soldiers. As a result, 2 Israeli military vehicles caught fire. Suddenly, large Israeli forces moved into the neighborhood and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the civilians and clashed with them. IOF also arrested: Mohammed Hamzah Obeid (16), Yazan Bassam Obeid (20), and Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud (21) before they withdrew from the village. 
  • At approximately 08:30 on Monday, 30 March 2020, IOF gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the limited fishing area ( 3 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen panicked and fled away fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported. 
  • At approximately 13:15 on the same Monday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of al-Qarman street, east of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at the border area adjacent to the border fence. As a result, Palestinian shepherds and farmers, whose agricultural lands are nearby, panicked. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported. 
  • At approximately 13:30 on Monday, 30 March 2020, about 30 Palestinian civilian took part adjacent to the Great March of Return (GMR) camp, in Khuza’a village, east of Khan Younis, without any official calls for protests in the second anniversary of launching the GMR protests and the 44th anniversary of Land Day. The protestors threw stones at IOF stationed along the border fence and the latter responded with live bullets and tear gas canisters. No casualties were reported. 
  • At approximately 17:20 on the same Monday, 30 March 2020, IOF soldiers stationed along the border fence, southeast of al-Buraij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties. 
  • At approximately 09:45 on Tuesday, 31 March 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at the border area. As a result, Palestinian shepherds and a number of farmers, whose lands are near the border fence, panicked; no casualties were reported. 
  • At approximately 18:00 on the same Tuesday, IOF moved into Sour Baher village, south of occupied East They surrounded a van carrying dozens of Food parcels to be distributed on 200 poor families in the village. This was in light of the crisis facing the villages residents for 2 weeks due to the imposed restrictions on movement in addition to the residents’ temporary unemployment within the preventive measures to limit the spread of  Coronavirus. Eyewitnesses said that IOF stopped the van and checked the driver’s ID card, questioned him about the Food parcels and demanded him of the receipt. IOF also surrounded the food store, attacked the residents who were in the area, fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters to disperse them, confiscated all the food parcels, and arrested 4 civilians; two of them were identified: Mohammed Atoun and Mahdi Atoun. 
  • Simultaneously, IOF soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Buraij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire agricultural lands, west of the border fence. No casualties were reported. 
  • At approximately 09:10 on Wednesday, 01 April 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip opened fire at agricultural lands east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported. 
  • At approximately 16:50, Palestinian medical sources at the Istishari Arab Hospital in al-Raihan neighborhood, southwest of Ramallah, declared the death of Islam Abdul Ghani Duweikat (21), succumbing to wounds he sustained on 11 March 2020. According to PCHR’s investigations, Duweikat was shot with a rubber bullet in the head and he deemed in critical condition. Duweikat was injured when IOF suppressed dozens of civilians who gathered in al-‘Armah Mountian, southeast of Beta village, southeast of Nablus, upon calls  launched by Israeli settlers on their websites to raid the mountain. On that day morning, IOF reinforced with about 40 military SUVs and 2 bulldozers moved into the abovementioned mount from 6 directions and suppressed residents, who spent their night in the area, by firing live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result of clashes that erupted in the area, Mohammed Abdul Karim Hamayel (15) was killed and 14 civilians were injured, including Duweikat, whose injury was very serious. Duweikat was receiving treatment until his death was announced on the same day evening.
  1. Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 26 March 2020:

  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Halhoul and Tarqoumya vilages in Hebron, Shwaika neighborhood in Tulkarm, and ‘Arraba, southwest of Jenin. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 27 March 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Kharsa village, south of Hebron. They patrolled in the streets without wearing protective clothing in light of the Coronavirus “Covid-19” outbreak in Israel.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Hebron, and stationed in Khallat Hadour and Eissa neighborhoods. IOF patrolled in the main streets without wearing protective clothing in light of the Coronavirus “Covid-19” outbreak in Israel. IOF withdrew and no arrests were reported. 
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into several neighborhoods in Israeli-occupied section of Hebron’s Old City known as “H2”. No arrests were reported. 
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Kafl Hares in Salfit, Asala and Izbet al-Tabib villages in Qalqilya. No arrests were reporting. 

Saturday, 28 March 2020:

  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into al-Issaweya village, southeast of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Naser Darweesh’s (16) house and arrested him.

Sunday, 29 March 2020:

  • IOF carried out an incursion in Khrbet Jabara, southeast of Tulkarm. No arrests were reporting.

Monday, 30 March 2020:

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into al-Issaweya village, southeast of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Ahmed Fayez Mahmoud’s (29) house and arrested him. 
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into Solwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Omar Basem al-Zughaiar’s (26) house and arrested him. 
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested Tamer Khalaf (34) while present in Bab al-Sahera, in the Central East Jerusalem. Tamer was taken to al-Bareed Police Station in Salah al-Deen Street. 
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Sa’eer and Ethna in Hebron. No arrests were reporting.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00 IOF stormed al-Arba’een Mosque, in the central al-Issaweya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF attacked and severely beaten dozens of young men while praying in the Mosque’s yard, and arrested Mer’ai Derbas (46) and took him to one of the investigation centers in the city.

The follow-up committee in the village said that IOF forced dozens of young men to pay fine of (250 NIS) while heading to buy some necessities from the grocery. Furthermore, IOF forced two families to pay fines while waiting for a released prisoner in front of Salah al-Deen investigation center in the city. IOF also forced 5 young men to pay fines claiming that they were not committed to the prevention measures of the Corona virus. The committee said that, “IOF claimed that the people of al-Issaweya are not committed to the prevention measures of the Coronavirus while they storm and move into the village several times a day without wearing protective clothing, disposable masks and gloves or keeping the personal space between each other, or any other prevention measures”. 

  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into Obaid neighborhood, west of al-Issaweya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They arrested (3) civilians while present around their houses, the arrestees are: Hussam Sameeh Alian (19), Mohammed Mousa Mostafa (18), and Nour al-Deen Maher Muhaisen (19). 
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested (3) civilians while present near the western entrance of al-Issaweya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. The arrestees are: Fadi Abu al-Hams, Dawoud Derbas, and Majd Derbas. 
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF moved into al-Karantina area, in southern Hebron. They arrested (3) children after checking their ID Cards, and took them to al-Hisba Old Market then to Keryat Arba’ Settlement Police Station, east of Hebron. The arrestees are: Mohammed Haron al-Tawil (14), Wael Anwar al-Taweel (17), and Emad Bassam al-Taweel (17).

Wednesday, 01 April 2020:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Issaweya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Adham Naser Sebta (20) and Mohammed Mousa Mostafa (18) and arrested them. It should be noted that IOF arrested Mostafa in the previous day and released him in the evening hours and rearrested him after hours. 
  • Around the same time, IOF severely beaten and arrested (3) civilians from Solwan village, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and took them to an unknown destination. The arrestees are: Yazan Syam (25), Mohammed Sa’eed Awwad (34), and Nour Asfour. 
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Izareya village, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Hasan Ashraf Abu al-Reesh’s (20) house and arrested him. 
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved from Military station No.16, northeast of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, 50-meters west of the border fence. They leveled and combed lands that were previously leveled amidst Israeli sporadic shooting. However, no casualties were reported. 
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into Ein al-Lawza neighborhood in Solwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Jameel al-A’war (42) and Sobhi Zalloum (54), and handed them summonses to refer to al-Qishla Police Station. 
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Darweesh Issa (18), while present around al-Arba’een Mosque, in the Central al-Issaweya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. Mohammed was taken to an unknown destination. 
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF arrested Sa’ed Yousef Obaid (21) while present near the eastern entrance of Obaid neighborhood, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. Sa’ed was taken to an unknown destination. 
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Nablus, Beit Kahl, and Shoyoukh al-Aroub villages in Hebron Governorate. No arrests were reporting.

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

  1. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
  • At approximately 05:45 on Thursday, 26 March 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Tayaseer village in eastern Tubas. The military construction vehicles demolished Mohamed Yousef Suliman Dabak’s water well, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. 
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Wadi Srida area in western Salfit. The military construction vehicles demolished ‘Aziz Yousef ‘Abdullah’s water well and agricultural room, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. 
  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 26 March 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Um al-Khair nature reserve in eastern Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers hanged a seven-day eviction notice on the nature reserve under the pretext of being a training military site. The Israeli authorities ordered the residents of Um al-Khiar village to evacuate the nature reserve and return it to  normal or the Israeli authorities will do so and force the residents to pay all costs. 

It should be noted that on Wednesday, 03 July 2019, Israeli authorities  accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers destroyed a pastoral reserve in Um al-Khair village in eastern Yatta. They uprooted at least 500 trees planted 15 years ago. Additionally, on 24 August 2019, Israeli authorities demolished 4 water wells in Um al-Khair village.

The pastoral reserve  was established in 2003 on al-Hathaleen family lands (750 dunums) in cooperation with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. 

  • At approximately 11:00 on Thursday, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Dir Buziq village in northern Jordan Valley, southeast of Tubas. The military construction vehicles demolished the village council’s 70-sqaure-meter barrack with its contents estimated at NIS 2,500. IOF also confiscated a generator, a water pump, sheds, 8 tents, a solar cell, a concrete mixer,  bricks, iron, and other equipment, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. The confiscated items are estimated at NIS 6,500. 
  • Israeli authorities uprooted Sameer ‘Ayid al-Shalaldah’s 300 olive seedlings planted in 20 dunums in Wadi Sa’ir area , north of Hebron. Al-Shalaldah found a 24-hour eviction notice issued on 08 March 2020, was hanged on his plot of land. The Israeli authorities exploited the state of emergency declared on 06 March 2020 by the PA to combat Coronavirus (Covid 19) and carried out more attacks against Palestinians. 
  • At approximately 06:00 on Friday, 28 March 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Khelet Irmilah area in al-Zawiyia village, west of They demolished Salah ‘Abed al-Latif Raddad’s agricultural room, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. Head of al-Zawiyia village, Mahmoud ‘Abdullah Moqidy, said that at approximately 06:00 on Friday, 28 March 2020, 2 Palestinian men phoned and informed me that IOF demolished an agricultural room belonging to Salah Raddad. I arrived at the area at 07:00 and found that IOF bulldozed the room and withdrew later. 
  • At approximately 07:00 on Tuesday, 31 March 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Kherbit Jebara, south of Tulkarm. IOF demolished Khaled Rasheed Hussain ‘Abed al-Rahman’s agricultural room and cement wall (280 m), under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. 
  • At approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 31 March 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbet al-Tabban in southern Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed ‘Issa Mohamed Hamamda (50) a notice to stop working in a 110-square-meter barrack built of tin plates and used for breeding livestock. 
  • Around the same time, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Khebet al-Mofaqara in southern Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Ahmed Mesleh Hamamda a notice to evacuate his 50 dunums and remove a tent, where he and his family live after demolishing their house, under the pretext of non-licensing. 
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 01 April 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into al-Wa’irah area in western Jenin. IOF demolished 3 under-construction houses under the pretext of being near the annexation wall and non-licensing in area C. The demolished houses belong to:
  1. Tareq ‘Abed al-Razeq ‘Abed al-Rahman Abu Hammad: a 110-square-meter under-construction house.
  2. Rabei’ ‘Abed al-Razeq ‘Abed al-Rahman Abu Hammad: a 140-square-meter under-construction house.
  3. Mostafs Tayseer ‘Abed al-Rahman Abu Hammad: a 110-square-meter under-construction house.

It should be noted that IOF notified the houses’ owners on 26 January 2020, as a prelude to demolish them.

 At approximately 09:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbet al-Taiba, east of Tarqumiyia village, northwest of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Yunis Mohamed Ghareeb (44) a notice to stop construction works in his 100-sqaure-meter house, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. It should be noted that Israeli authorities attempt to seize al-Taiba’s lands in favor of settlement expansion in ” Adwara” settlement. 

  1. Israeli Settler Violence
  • At approximately 08:00 on Friday, 27 March 2020, Israeli settlers, from ” Hafat Ma’oun” settlement, which is established on Palestinians’ lands in eastern Yatta, south of  Hebron, attacked  Palestinian shepherds  in al-Hamra area, east of al-Tawana village. The settlers forced the shepherds at gunpoint to leave . Meanwhile, the village residents gathered and photographed what happened. One of the settlers unleashed his at Hussain Saber al-Hereni (32), who photographed them. As a result, al-Hereni sustained wounds in his left hand and taken to Abu al-Hasan al-Qasem Hospital by a PRCS ambulance. 
  • At approximately 11:00 on Saturday, 28 March 2020, Israeli settlers, from ” Hafat Ma’oun” settlement, which is established on Palestinians’ lands in eastern Yatta, south of Hebron, attacked  Palestinian shepherds  in al-Hamra area, east of al-Tawana village and forced them to leave . As a result, Adeeb Ghanem al-Hereni sustained fractures in his right hand fingers. The village residents gathered and IOF arrived at the area. They fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the residents, who suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. 
  • At approximately 11:00 on Tuesday, 31 March 2020, from ” Ma’oun” settlement, which is established on Palestinians’ lands in eastern Yatta, south of Hebron, attacked  Palestinian shepherds  in al-Tawana village  and indiscriminately opened fire around them. As a result, the shepherds were forced to leave. IOF arrived at the area and denied Palestinians’ access to their lands. 
  1. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

For the fourth consecutive week, Israeli authorities continued to impose restrictions on Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing and West Bank Crossings under the pretext of confronting the fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. These restrictions were declared on Wednesday ,11 March 2020, and still continued, except humanitarian cases would be allowed to pass through the crossing.

West Bank:

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individual movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. IOF established 11 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles and checked their IDs.

The military checkpoint were as follows:

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 26 March 2020, IOF closed with metal-detector gate the main entrance to Bani Na’iem village, east of Hebron, denying Palestinians’ access to Bypass road (60).
  • On Friday, 27 March 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of Beit ‘Awaa village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron.
  • On Saturday, 28 March 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kharsa village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron.
  • On Monday, 30 March 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ethna village, west of Hebron.
  • On Tuesday, 31 March 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Yatta and Tarama villages.

Jenin:

 On Thursday, 26 March 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of ‘Araba village, southwest of Jenin.

Salfit:

 On Friday, 28 March 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Burqeen and Dirsitiyia villages.

 On Saturday, 29 March 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Hares and Kaful Hares villages.

 On Sunday, 29 March 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Dir Balout village.

 Tulkarm:

 On Saturday, 29 March 2020, IOF tightened their arbitrary measures at ‘Inab military checkpoint.

 At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 31 March 2020, IOF closed with sand berms agricultural roads connecting between Kafa and Shofa villages. IOF raided greenhouses while Palestinian farmers were working inside them and forced them to leave at gunpoint. Also, IOF closed all nearby entrances.

Israeli Police Allow Israeli Settlers Into Al-Aqsa Mosque, Restrict Muslim Presence

March 23, 2020 12:23 AM  Rami Almeghari

Image: Ma’an

Dozens of Israeli colonial settlers, belonging to the Temple Mount group, on Sunday morning, stormed the vicinity of the Islamic holy shrine of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem..

Witnesses told media outlets that the group of illegal settlers performed provocative rituals before leaving through the Bab Alselsela gate used by Palestinian-Muslim residents.

Israeli police force escorted the illegal settlers, while also restricting entry of Muslim Palestinian worshippers into the sacred Islamic compound.

The Temple Mount group had previously called on Israeli colonists to perform rituals at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, also known as the Al-Haram Ash-Sharīf, widely agreed to be an Islamic holy place.

New measures of the Israeli occupation authorities’ efforts to fight the now internationally-spread, Coronavirus, are claimed to be the reason for the tightened restrictions. High fines have been threatened only against Palestinian locals and scholars, allegedly to avoid the assembly of large numbers of people, however the Israelis are not subject to the same rules.

In September 2000, late Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, invaded, along with almost 3000 Israelis, including Jews, police forces and officials, stormed the holy shrine, which sparked the second Palestinian Intifada (uprising) otherewise known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada, which took the lives of 3,000 Palestinians over a 5 year period.

In the last 2 decades, Israelis and illegal settlers have regularly stormed the Muslim holy site with the protection of Israeli police and performed rituals, which are forbidden. Israelis who wish to pray near the mosque have a designated area for prayer, known among Muslims as the Buraq Wall, know by Jews as the Wailing Wall.

On Sunday, the Palestinian Waqf council announced the decision to suspend all Muslim prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, starting Monday at dawn, until further notice.

Palestine news

Palestinian family forced to demolish its home in Jerusalem

Jerusalem /PNN/

A Palestinian family from the Shuafat refugee camp in occupied Jerusalem embarked yesterday on demolishing its own home after it was forced to do so by Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem to avoid paying exorbitant costs if the municipality carries out the demolition.

Tareq Mohammad Ali said his family and he were forced to demolish their own home at the order of the Israeli High Court, under the pretext it was built without a permit. Ali said he had no option but to embark on the demolition to avoid paying unreasonable demolition costs to the Israeli municipality.

Palestinians in Jerusalem are forced to build without a permit because getting a building permit is impossible as the right-wing mayor and city council attempt to keep the city’s Palestinian population at a bare minimum while multiplying its Jewish residents by approving the construction of thousands of new housing units in Jewish settlements.

Rights group have argued that almost 75 percent of applications for a permit by the Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem are rejected by the municipality.

If The US Is OK with Israeli Annexing the West Bank, Why Is It Sanctioning Russia for Annexing Crimea?

By David Morrison

Source

Trump at the Israeli American Council National Summit 8b64d

At a ceremony in the East Room in the White House on 28 January 2020, President Trump unveiled his 181-page “vision” for Israel/Palestine to an audience of enthusiastic cheerleaders, many flown in from Israel for the occasion. While he spoke, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood by his side and afterwards he welcomed the President’s “vision” ecstatically.

And well he might.  The “vision” was written for him, if not by him.  According to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, it is the “product of more than three years of close consultations” between Trump, Netanyahu and their senior staff.  Understandably, therefore, it gives Netanyahu almost everything he has ever wished for politically.  In essence, the document is an agreement between the US and Israel about the future of Israel/Palestine.

Trump’s favours to Netanyahu

Of course, this is not the first incidence of Prime Minister Netanyahu, and Israel, receiving political favours from President Trump.  Already, under the Trump administration,

  • in December 2017, the US recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and, in May 2018, moved the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv
  • in August 2018, the US ended financial support for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
  • in September 2018, the US cut $25 million of financial support for 6 hospitals for the care of Palestinians in East Jerusalem
  • in September 2018, the US closed the PLO office in Washington
  • in February 2019, the US ended financial support to the Palestinian Authority
  • in March 2019, the US recognised as Israeli sovereign territory the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (which Israel took over by force in 1967 and has subjected to military occupation ever since)
  • in November 2019, the US declared that the 130+ Jewish-only settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Golan Heights are “not per se inconsistent with international law” (in the words of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo)

Perhaps, the US flagrantly breaching the nuclear deal it signed with Iran (and other states) should be added to this list.  When he unveiled his “vision” on 28 January 2020, President Trump boasted:

“As everyone knows, I have done a lot for Israel: moving the United States Embassy to Jerusalem; recognizing — (applause) –- recognizing the Golan Heights — (applause) — and, frankly, perhaps most importantly, getting out of the terrible Iran nuclear deal.  (applause)”

A much bigger favour to Netanyahu

Now, the President has done Netanyahu (and Israel) a much bigger favour – he has undertaken that the US will henceforth recognise a lot more Israeli-occupied territory as sovereign Israeli territory, this time territory East of the Green Line, that is, in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem).

In recent months, Netanyahu has said that he wanted to annex to Israel (a) the Jordan Valley and (b) areas surrounding the Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank.  It is probably not a coincidence that annexations along these lines are at the heart of the President’s “vision” for Israel/Palestine – and there is no suggestion that Palestinians are to be consulted, let alone have a veto, about these annexations.

After the President unveiled his “vision”, Netanyahu responded ecstatically:

“This is a historic day.  And it recalls another historic day.  We remember May 14th, 1948, because on that day, President Truman became the first world leader to recognize the State of Israel after our first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, declared our independence.  That day charted a brilliant future.

“Mr. President, I believe that down the decades — and perhaps down the centuries — we will also remember January 28th, 2020, because on this day, you became the first world leader to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over areas in Judea and Samaria that are vital to our security and central to our heritage.  (Applause) …

“For too long — far too long — the very heart of the Land of Israel where our patriarchs prayed, our prophets preached, and our kings ruled, has been outrageously branded as illegally occupied territory.  Well, today, Mr. President, you are puncturing this big lie.  (Applause)

“You are recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over all the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, large and small alike.  (Applause)”

Israel seized the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) by military force in June 1967 and has colonised it relentlessly in the ensuing years transferring over 620,000 of its citizens across the Green Line into Jewish-only settlements.

If some or all of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) becomes sovereign Israeli territory on a permanent basis, then with the blessing of the US, Israel will have acquired territory by military force in flagrant violation of the first principle of international law.  The US can no longer complain about Russia annexing Crimea, not least because that was done with the consent of the people living there.

A false notion: Israel an occupier

This US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over first the Golan Heights and now parts of the West Bank was foreshadowed during the Trump presidential campaign by his advisory team on Israel.  This consisted of Jason Greenblatt, who was until recently his chief negotiator on Israel/Palestine (along with his son-in-law, Jared Kushner), and David Friedman, who is now US Ambassador to Israel.

A joint statement by Greenblatt and Friedmanjoint statement by Greenblatt and Friedman on 2 November 2016 contained the following short but very significant sentence:

“The false notion that Israel is an occupier should be rejected.”

That principle has been implemented in respect of the Golan Heights and now in respect of part of the West Bank.  In addition, it is reflected in US State Department documents, which no longer refer to the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Gaza and the Golan Heights as “the occupied territories”.

The internationally agreed position

The Security Council has always regarded the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) as Israeli occupied territory and never as territory belonging to the State of Israel.  Thus, Security Council Resolution 2334 passed on 23 December 2016 specifically called upon UN member states to “distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967”.

The same is true of the International Court of Justice (“the principal judicial organ of the United Nations” in the words of the UN Charter).  In its July 2004 Advisory Opinion Legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory it left no doubt that Israel was the occupying power in  the West Bank under international law:

“The territories situated between the Green Line … and the former eastern boundary of Palestine under the Mandate were occupied by Israel in 1967 during the armed conflict between Israel and Jordan. … All these territories (including East Jerusalem) remain occupied territories and Israel has continued to have the status of occupying Power.” (Paragraph 78)

All, or nearly all, states in the world (apart from Israel and the US) accept this UN position that the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) is Israeli occupied territory.

Most states also accept the UN position that, along with Gaza, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) should form the territory of a Palestinian state, with its capital in East Jerusalem, existing alongside Israel in its pre-1967 borders – and that any adjustments to the pre-1967 borders by way of land swaps must be agreed between Israel and Palestine.  The EU has always been very firm on the latter point, saying:

“The EU will recognize changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, only when agreed by the parties.”

Of course, a “two-state solution” along these lines is not going to happen.  It’s not going to happen because Israel has no intention of reversing its aggression of June 1967 and withdrawing from the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) so that a Palestinian state can be established.  And there is no chance of sufficient external pressure being brought to bear on Israel to force it to withdraw – which is what should have been done in the wake of Israel’s aggression in June 1967.

A Palestinian “state”

Trump’s “vision” document does propose the creation of a Palestinian “state”, of a kind arrogantly dictated by the US and Israel.  They have decreed that its territory would consist of Gaza plus those parts of the West Bank (about 50% of it) not already selected by them for annexation to Israel – and that it would have a capital on the outskirts of East Jerusalem, not in Jerusalem itself.

Its West Bank territory would consist of a number of non-contiguous chunks, linked together by a network of roads, bridges and tunnels and surrounded by territory to be annexed to Israel – and therefore with no access to the outside world except through Israeli-controlled territory.

At Israel’s insistence, the Palestinian “state” would be demilitarised, and Israel would retain the right to make armed incursions into its territory to ensure that it remained demilitarised and, in Israel’s opinion, non-threatening to Israel.  Hamas and other paramilitary groups in Gaza would have to disarm, recognise the State of Israel (with its greatly expanded territory, presumably) and hand over control of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority or “another national or international body acceptable to the State of Israel”, to quote from Trump’s “vision” document.

If this “state” were ever to come into existence, it would mean the continuation of Israeli occupation for Palestinians with Israel still in control of all the land between the Jordan and the Sea.

(For more on the US/Israel requirements for a Palestinian “state”, see the Endnote below)

Negotiations with Palestinians?

Responding to President Trump in the White House on 28 January, Netanyahu said:

“Mr. President, … because I believe your peace plan strikes the right balance where other plans have failed, I’ve agreed to negotiate peace with the Palestinians on the basis of your peace plan.  (Applause)”

Later he qualified this by saying that Palestinians had to “agree to abide by all the conditions” in the “peace plan” (see Endnote below) before Israel would be prepared to “negotiate peace” with them.

Trump had earlier said that the territory he had allocated to a Palestinian “state” would “remain open and undeveloped for a period of four years” during which Palestinians can “negotiate with Israel, achieve the criteria for statehood, and become a truly independent and wonderful state”.

None of this matters, of course, since the “peace plan” is completely unacceptable to Palestinian leaders and to the Palestinian public: an opinion poll carried out by Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 94% of Palestinians were opposed to it (despite President Trump’s judgment that: “It’s very good for them.  In fact, it’s overly good to them.”).

Are annexations going to happen?

Are the proposed annexations going to happen?  Almost certainly, they will, whether Netanyahu remains Prime Minister or is replaced by Benny Gantz.  Palestinian opposition will count for nothing.  Both Trump and Netanyahu made it clear on 28 January that the annexations are going ahead.  Trump said:

“We will form a joint committee with Israel to convert the conceptual map [pubin the “vision” document] into a more detailed and calibrated rendering so that recognition can be immediately achieved.”

In his response to Trump that day, Netanyahu said:

“Regardless of the Palestinian decision [to enter into negotiations], Israel will preserve the path of peace in the coming years.  … At the same time, Israel will apply its laws to the Jordan Valley, to all the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and to other areas that your plan designates as part of Israel and which the United States has agreed to recognize as part of Israel.  (Applause)”

For obvious reasons, Netanyahu hoped that visible progress could be made on this prior to the Israeli General Election on 2 March.  However, the Trump administration vetoed that and insisted that the joint US/Israel mapping committee first complete its work of defining precisely what territory is to be annexed.  The committee has now been set up – it is headed by the US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who explained that the US was anxious that the annexation process was completed properly in one go and the US didn’t have to recognise several incremental annexations.  Needless to say, there are no Palestinian representatives on this committee that is to divide up their land.

It is possible that, after the election on 2 March, Netanyahu will be replaced as Prime Minister by Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White party (who was formerly head of the Israeli military).  Will that delay or prevent the annexations going ahead?  That’s unlikely, since from the outset he has expressed support for Trump’s plan: on 27 January after he was briefed by Trump himself about it, he described it as “a significant and historic milestone” and said:

“Immediately after the elections, I will work toward implementing it from within a stable, functioning Israeli government, in tandem with the other countries in our region.”

The President himself is bound to be keen to complete the annexations before his re-election campaign, because that would please the Evangelical Christian voters who form a significant part of his electoral base – and it would ensure that, if he lost the election, his Democratic successor would be faced with a fait accompli.

Almost all the Democratic presidential candidates have expressed opposition to his plan: for example, Senator Elizabeth Warren said:

“Trump’s ‘peace plan’ is a rubber stamp for annexation and offers no chance for a real Palestinian state. Releasing a plan without negotiating with Palestinians isn’t diplomacy, it’s a sham. I will oppose unilateral annexation in any form—and reverse any policy that supports it.”

But would a Democratic president attempt to reverse the annexations?  That’s very doubtful, since it would require at the very least the US to threaten to cut off military aid to Israel.

What is to be annexed

Under the Oslo Agreement, the Israeli-occupied West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem) was divided into three areas.  The largest, Area C, with around 61% of the land area is where Israel has built 130+ Jewish-only settlements.

Israel treats Area C as if its sole purpose is to serve Israeli needs, expanding settlements there relentlessly, their population having more than tripled since the Oslo Agreement was signed in 1993.  Israel doesn’t consider itself obligated in any way to the estimated 200,000 Palestinians living in Area A, banning virtually all construction and development by them.  When, having no other option, Palestinians build without permits, their buildings, including their living quarters, are liable to be demolished by Israel, with the residents themselves being billed for the demolition costs.

Most of the approximately 2.5 million Palestinian residents of the West Bank live in Areas A and B, which consist of 165 disconnected “islands” surrounded by land designated as part of Area C.

In total, Israel has transferred over 413,000 of its citizens into Area C.  A further 209,000 Israeli citizens now live in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem.  Colonisation of occupied territory was and is contrary to international law – to be precise, it is war crime contrary to Article 8.2(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which states that “the transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” is a war crime.

Up to now, Israel has treated the settlements in Area C as extensions of its sovereign territory, applying most of its domestic laws there and allowing settlers to vote in Knesset elections.  Now, the settlements are to be annexed and treated as an integral party of Israel.  Here, we are talking about all the settlements and the land around them being annexed to Israel, not just a few of the settlements located close to the Green Line.  This avoids any political difficulties for an Israeli government from having to uproot Jews from outlying settlements and repatriate them to Israel.

The fact that the settlements are widely spread across the West Bank makes it difficult to construct a contiguous territory to be annexed to Israel.  Nevertheless, Trump’s “vision” document claims that “approximately 97% of Israelis in the West Bank will be incorporated into contiguous Israeli territory”.  But, 15 of the settlements are planned to be in enclaves within “Palestinian territory” with dedicated access routes connecting them to Israeli-controlled territory.  (By “Palestinian territory”, we mean the territory in the West Bank generously assigned to a Palestinian “state” by the US and Israel).

It is Trump’s “vision” that this territory with its attached enclaves become sovereign Israeli territory.  Conquest and a 50-year programme of colonisation is about to bear fruit for Israel.

Jordan Valley

The US has also agreed that the Jordan Valley be annexed to Israel.  Trump’s “vision” states bluntly:

“The Jordan Valley, which is critical for Israel’s national security, will be under Israeli sovereignty.” (p12)

East Jerusalem

When the US has recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, it didn’t formally recognise East Jerusalem as sovereign Israeli territory, even though Israel had long since treated it as such.

After capturing and occupying the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in June 1967, Israel greatly expanded the city by annexing West Bank land and applying Israeli law to the expanded city.  From then on, Israel regarded the expanded Jerusalem as an integral part of Israel.  This was not accepted by the Security Council, which has always regarded it (and the rest of the West Bank) as Israeli occupied territory, as did most states in the world, including the US, apart from Israel.

On Jerusalem, Trump’s “vision” states bluntly:

“Jerusalem will remain the sovereign capital of the State of Israel, and it should remain an undivided city.” (p17)

That would seem to be a statement that the US now recognises all of Jerusalem, including occupied East Jerusalem, as sovereign Israeli territory.

International reactions

The Ambassadors of three Gulf States – Oman, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates – attended the ceremony in the East Room in the White House on 28 January, when President Trump unveiled his “vision” for Israel/Palestine, and were publicly thanked by him for their attendance.

Afterwards, it was suggested that they attended the event because they were given the false impression that his “vision” included a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, whereas in reality there is no Palestinian state and no capital in East Jerusalem.

A few days later representatives from the three states joined the other members of the Arab League in unanimously rejecting what they called the US-Israeli deal, saying that it “does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people”.  However, no action was proposed that would impose a cost on Israel for annexing Palestinian territory.

The EU was unable to make an official statement criticising the US proposals because that required unanimity amongst the 27 member states.  The EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell couldn’t achieve unanimity because, as a result of lobbying by Israel, at least six states (including Italy, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic) objected.

Borrell issued a critical statement on his own, warning that “steps towards annexation, if implemented, could not pass unchallenged”.  Those are empty words – on the Israel/Palestine issue the EU is now paralysed.

When the Security Council held a meeting on the US/Israel proposals on 11 February, the EU was not in a position to present an official policy on the proposals.  However, a joint statement issued by Belgium, France, Germany, Estonia and Poland at the Security Council had the merit of robustly restating EU policy:

“The annexation of any part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, constitutes a breach of international law, undermines the viability of the two-State solution and challenges the prospects for just, comprehensive and lasting peace. In line with international law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, we do not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied since 1967.”

The UK, by contrast, limited itself to expressing “concern” at the about possible annexations.

A draft Security Council resolution critical of the US/Israel proposals was not pressed to a vote because it was not going to get the nine positive votes necessary to force the US to veto it.

The sad conclusion is that there is no pressure worthy of the name on the US/Israel that might persuade them not to go ahead with the proposed annexations.

Crimea

To say that, in the past, the US has applied double standards in its response to Russia’s takeover of Crimea compared with Israel’s takeover of Palestinian territories is a gross understatement.

In June 1967, Israel took over Palestinian territories whose populations were overwhelmingly opposed to being taken over by Israel.  But no economic sanctions have ever been imposed by the US to force Israel to withdraw.  Quite the contrary, Israel has been showered with US tax dollars over the years and today it receives more US aid (mostly military) than any other state in the world.  Before leaving office, President Obama promised that this largesse would continue, promising Israel $38 billion over the following 10 years.

By contrast, in 2014 Russia took over Crimea whose population was both overwhelmingly Russian and overwhelmingly in favour of being taken over by Russia (and was part of Ukraine in 2014 rather than Russia because of an arbitrary decision in 1954 by the USSR Supreme Soviet to transfer it without its consent from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR).  Nevertheless, Russia was immediately subjected to economic sanctions by the US, sanctions that are still in force today.

With the President’s recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and now great swathes of the West Bank, the divergence in standards has widened further.  To be consistent, the President should immediately recognise Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea and lift the economic sanctions imposed on Russia because of its takeover of Crimea.

Endnote: US/Israel requirements for a Palestinian “state”

The Palestinian “state” prescribed in President Trump’s “vision” for Israel/Palestine would mean the continuation of Israeli occupation in a not very different form: if the “state” ever came into existence, Israel would remain in control of all the land between the Jordan and the Sea, including the territory assigned to a Palestinian “state” by the US/Israel.

This territory includes Gaza and the West Bank, minus the areas in the West Bank which the US has approved for annexation by Israel in the “vision” document.  These areas consist of all the 130+ Jewish-only settlements built illegally by Israel since it took over the West Bank by force in 1967, along with large swathes of land around them, plus the Jordan Valley and East Jerusalem.

The West Bank territory of the “state” would consist of a number of non-contiguous chunks, linked together by a network of roads, bridges and tunnels and surrounded by territory to be annexed to Israel – and therefore with no access to the outside world except through Israeli-controlled territory.

Sovereignty

So much for the territory assigned by the US to the new Palestinian “state”.  As for the sovereignty, which the new “state” will be able to exercise, suffice to say the US has agreed that it will be highly restricted by Israel.  To quote from the “vision” document:

“Upon signing the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement, the State of Israel will maintain overriding security responsibility for the State of Palestine” (p21)

“The State of Israel will continue to maintain control over the airspace and the electromagnetic spectrum west of the Jordan river.” (Appendix 2C)

“The State of Israel will retain sovereignty over territorial waters, which are vital to Israel’s security and which provides stability to the region.” (p13)

“The lack of ports has raised the costs of Palestinian economic activity. Though the State of Palestine will include Gaza, security challenges make the building of a port in Gaza problematic for the foreseeable future.” (p27)

“Five years following the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement and assuming the full satisfaction of the Gaza Criteria, the State of Palestine shall have the right, subject to the satisfaction of State of Israel’s security and environmental requirements, to create an artificial island off the coast of Gaza to develop a port to serve Gaza (the “GAZA PORT”), as well as an airport for small aircraft.” (p29)

“All persons and goods will cross the borders into the State of Palestine through regulated border crossings, which will be monitored by the State of Israel. Israeli border crossing officials, using state of the art scanning and imaging technology, shall have the right to confirm that no weapons, dual-use or other security-risk related items will be allowed to enter into the State of Palestine.” (p24)

A demilitarized “state”

The “vision” document is clear:

“The State of Palestine shall be fully demilitarized and remain so” (p22)

The document extols the virtue of this for Palestine, presenting military expenditure as a burden which Israel is generously prepared to carry on behalf of Palestinians:

“Every country spends a very significant sum of money on its defense from external threats. The State of Palestine will not be burdened with such costs, because it will be shouldered by the State of Israel. This is a significant benefit for the economy of the State of Palestine since funds that would otherwise be spent on defense can instead be directed towards healthcare, education, infrastructure and other matters to improve Palestinians’ well-being.” (p21)

“A demilitarized State of Palestine will be prohibited from possessing capabilities that can threaten the State of Israel including:  weapons systems such as combat aircraft (manned and unmanned); heavy armored vehicles; mines; missiles; rockets; heavy machine guns; laser/radiating weapons; anti-air; anti-armor; anti-ship; military intelligence; offensive cyber and electronic warfare capabilities; production facilities and procurement mechanisms for weapons systems; military infrastructure and training facilities; or any weapons of mass destruction.” (Appendix 2C)

The State of Palestine will not have the right to forge military, intelligence or security agreements with any state or organization that adversely affect the State of Israel’s security, as determined by the State of Israel. The State of Palestine will not be able to develop military or paramilitary capabilities inside or outside of the State of Palestine.” (Appendix 2C)

Israel will have a permanent veto over Palestinian security capabilities:

“[Palestinian security] capabilities (i) may not (A) violate the principle that the State of Palestine in all its territory, including Gaza, shall be, and shall remain, fully demilitarized or (B) derogate the State of Israel’s overriding security responsibility, and (ii) will be agreed upon by the State of Palestine and the State of Israel.

“Any expansion of Palestinian security capabilities beyond the capabilities existing on the date this Vision is released shall be subject to agreement with the State of Israel.” (Appendix 2C)

Israel will retain the right to make armed incursions into Palestinian territory:

“The State of Israel will maintain the right to dismantle and destroy any facility in the State of Palestine that is used for the production of prohibited weapons or for other hostile purposes. While the State of Israel will use its best efforts to minimize incursions into the State of Palestine, the State of Israel will retain the right to engage in necessary security measures to ensure that the State of Palestine remains demilitarized and non-threatening to the State of Israel, including from terrorist threats.” (Appendix 2C)

Palestinian prisoners and administrative detainees in Israeli jails

The signing of a “peace agreement” is often accompanied by the release of prisoners and the granting of amnesty to individuals for actions prior to the signing of the agreement.

If this agreement ever came to pass, Palestinians would not even get their prisoners out.  Instead, the “vision” document sets out a very limited scheme for prisoner release and amnesty (p30): Israel will release Palestinian prisoners and administrative detainees, but not “(i) those convicted of murder or attempted murder, (ii) those convicted of conspiracy to commit murder … and (iii) Israeli citizens”.

In the first phase of releases immediately after an agreement is signed, prisoners to be released must generally have served at least two-thirds of their sentence; in the second phase, at an unspecified future time, they must have served at least half their sentence.

Refugees

First and foremost, the “vision” document states:

“There shall be no right of return by, or absorption of, any Palestinian refugee into the State of Israel.” (p32)

Secondly, Israel will be able to restrict Palestinian immigration into the “state” of Palestine:

“The rights of Palestinian refugees to immigrate to the State of Palestine shall be limited in accordance with agreed security arrangements.” (p33)

The immigration rate “shall be agreed to by the parties and regulated by various factors”, for example, “security risks to the State of Israel” (p33).  Presumably, one of “parties” will be Israel.

The United Nations Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA) which was established by the UN General Assembly in 1949, provides education, health care and social services in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) to over 5 million Palestinians registered as refugees with the Agency.

The “vision” document boasts: “In the last 10 years alone, the US contributed approximately $2.99 billion ($3.16 billion in 2017 terms), which accounted for 28% of all contributions to UNRWA” (p31).  The document doesn’t mention that the US ceased making contributions to UNRWA in August 2018.

A couple of pages later the document declares:

“Upon the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement, Palestinian refugee status will cease to exist, and UNWRA will be terminated and its responsibilities transitioned to the relevant governments.” (p33)

The document does not identify any “government” that has agreed to take over relevant UNRWA responsibilities, though it does say that the US “will endeavor to raise a fund to provide some compensation to Palestinian refugees” (p33).

Happily, UNRWA cannot be “terminated” by the US since it was established by the UN General Assembly and operates under its auspices.

Conduct During Negotiations

In Section 22 headed Conduct During Negotiations, the “vision” document instructs the PLO and the Palestinian Authority to

“Refrain from any attempt to join any international organization without the consent of the State of Israel;” (p39)

“Take no action, and shall dismiss all pending actions, against the State of Israel, the United States and any of their citizens before the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, and all other tribunals” (p39)

It’s not clear if all these conditions continue to apply in the unlikely event of Palestinian statehood being achieved, for instance, would Israel have a veto over the State of Palestine being a party to the International Criminal Court?

The PLO and the Palestinian Authority is instructed to cease giving financial support to the families of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and

“Take all necessary actions to immediately terminate the paying of salaries to terrorists serving sentences in Israeli prisons, as well as to the families of deceased terrorists.  The latter must be done prior to the signing of an agreement.” (p39)

Conditions for Palestinian statehood

In Section 22, the “vision” document lays down an astonishing set of conditions which Palestinians must fulfil before they are deemed worthy of statehood by Israel and the US.  It says:

“The following criteria are a predicate to the formation of a Palestinian State and must be determined to have occurred by the State of Israel and the United States …

  • The Palestinians shall have implemented a governing system with a constitution or another system for establishing the rule of law that provides for freedom of press, free and fair elections, respect for human rights for its citizens, protections for religious freedom and for religious minorities to observe their faith, uniform and fair enforcement of law and contractual rights, due process under law, and an independent judiciary with appropriate legal consequences and punishment established for violations of the law.
  • The Palestinians shall have established transparent, independent, and credit-worthy financial institutions …
  • The Palestinians shall have achieved civilian and law enforcement control over all of its territory and demilitarized its population.
  • The Palestinians shall have complied with all the other terms and conditions of this Vision.”

Few states in this world satisfy these conditions, and none in the Middle East.

Not even Israel – because, according to the US, it discriminates against its Arab citizens.  In its 2016 Report on Human Rights Practices in Israel & the occupied territories (published on 3 March 2017), the US State Department asserts that one of “the most significant human rights problems in Israel” is “institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel, many of whom self-identify as Palestinian, in particular in access to equal education, housing, and employment opportunities”.

Clearly, Israel has some way to go before it is worthy of statehood.

 

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