JANUARY 26TH, 2023

Miko Peled


The Jordanian Ambassador to the State of Israel was recently denied entry to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem – the third-holiest site in Islam. This is an incident that is so severe and so dangerous that not only the Jordanian government but the entire Arab and Muslim world – as well as the West – should have reprimanded Israel severely. The governments of Israel and Jordan decided to downplay this incident, but there must be no mistake; it marks a dangerous new development for the Holy Sanctuary, or Haram Al-Sharif, where the mosque sits. With this “incident,” Israel – and particularly the new czar of national security – the racist thug turned minister – Itamar Ben-Gvir is telling the Arab and Muslim world, “there’s a new sheriff in town.”

Preventing the Jordanian Ambassador from entering the Al-Aqsa compound was unacceptable on several levels. As a Muslim, he has the right to go and pray at the mosque at any time he pleases; as an ambassador and representative of another country, he should be afforded courtesy and respect; and as the ambassador of the state which is the custodian of the entire compound, the entire Holy Sanctuary, he is entitled to visit at any time and needs no permission from any other authority.


Known in English as the Holy Sanctuary, Haram al-Sharif takes up about one-sixth of the Old City of Jerusalem or about one-half square mile. In 2022, I interviewed Dr. Yousef Natshe, one of the leading authorities on Islamic art and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The compound is composed of three levels of topography and over one hundred architectural structures, representing some of the finest examples of Islamic art and architecture. There are fifteen gates leading to the compound, four of which are currently blocked. As Dr. Natshe describes it, “it is a narrative within a narrative.”

The Haram Al-Sharif has been constantly cared for and developed by the most notable figures in Islam going back to Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, who entered Jerusalem in the seventh century, CE. “Wherever you look you see the fingerprints of an amir or a king,” all of whom added something, Dr. Natsche says.

He also added what many Palestinians – young and old – have expressed over and over again: Al-Aqsa is the last resort, the final refuge. As Palestinians lose land and rights and the ability to survive, not to mention lose their children to Israeli bullets, they look to Al-Aqsa as a place of refuge and the place they will protect with everything they’ve got. “Each Palestinian sees him or herself as the protector of Al-Aqsa,” he explained. We have seen this in recent years as settlers and soldiers storm the site and Palestinians from all walks of life stand to protect it.

The Israeli government knows this, and the current administration is challenging Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims by desecrating the Holy Sanctuary, demanding it for themselves. And while this was done slowly and gradually in the past, the current government is marching forward with no regard for the consequences. What we saw take place with the Jordanian Ambassador was the first shot in a war they are declaring on Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims everywhere.


While Israel tried to describe the incident with the Jordanian Ambassador as little more than a misunderstanding, it was nothing of the sort. Militarized and heavily armed Jerusalem police patrol the Al-Aqsa compound regularly in order to intimidate and show who is in charge. The only way to describe these police officers is “goons”; they are large, brutish, usually unshaven, easily provoked and with a dangerous propensity for violence. I have personally seen them many times, including when they are on the attack.

Based on tradition that goes back more than fifteen hundred years, and on diplomatic and legal agreements that have been signed and reaffirmed over and over in the last century, custodianship of the Holy Sanctuary today belongs to the Kingdom of Jordan. That means, in simple language, that they have the authority in the compound. The Waqf, or religious trust that governs the Holy Sanctuary, which includes Al-Aqsa mosque and all that exists within the compound, is a Jordanian institution, governed by the Kingdom of Jordan. One could perhaps compare it to an embassy, and the authority and sovereignty within the embassy belongs to the state it represents.

In the summer of 2022 I visited the Waqf, which is where I interviewed Dr. Yousef Natshe. I had to walk into the offices of the Waqf, the Islamic religious trust, and it was like entering an office within Jordan. For reasons beyond understanding, I had to negotiate with Israeli police about the right to enter the office, which for all legal purposes is under the sovereignty of the Jordanian government and not the Israeli police.


If there is anyone watching the developments surrounding the Old City of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa compound who is not gravely concerned, then they need to wake up. Claims made by Zionists to Al-Aqsa would be equivalent to someone demanding the Vatican – which was built much later than Al-Aqsa – be removed because before it was built there was a temple for some other deity and they have the right to build their own temple again. If someone was mad enough to make such claims, they would be laughed at, and rightly so.

It is probably not possible for someone who is not a Muslim or at least close enough to Islam to comprehend the importance, the significance and the awe surrounding Al-Aqsa. It is equally not possible therefore to comprehend the danger in what Israel is doing. Israel and its current zealot-led government are fully aware that they are placing not only Jerusalem, not only Palestine, not even only the entire Middle East but the entire world on the edge of an unpredictable catastrophe.

It is time for the international community to step in. It is time for Americans to prepare for the possibility that the Sixth Fleet – which controls the Mediterranean region – be mobilized to rescue Palestinians. The longer the world waits, the more Palestinians die and the closer we get to what will surely be an unimaginable loss.

Israel deprives 13,000 Palestinians of Jerusalem residency permits

Palestinians stripped of their residency, could be deported to the West Bank, or the Gaza strip

December 20 2022

A Palestinian resident of the West Bank village of Burqa confronts Israeli soldiers following attacks by settlers, on 17 December, 2021.
(Photo credit: AFP)

ByNews Desk 

Israel has refused to grant some 13,000 Palestinians residency in occupied Jerusalem for nearly four decades, Haaretz revealed on 19 December.

Over the years, several human rights organizations have submitted petitions to the Israeli Supreme Court, arguing that the Ministry of the Interior has denied many Jerusalemites their right to residency or completely denied it.

The Supreme Court repeatedly ruled that Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are native people with equal rights, and they should not be classified as immigrants.

Meanwhile, Haaretz stated that the deportation of French-Palestinian lawyer Salah al Hamouri on 18 December was a warning to Jerusalem’s Arab residents; if they did not submit and comply with Israeli authorities, they would be stripped of their residency and legal rights.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned the forced deportation of Hamouri, an activist working for the human rights organization Addameer.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry considered this measure a war crime and a violation of international and humanitarian law.

The newspaper denounced that many Palestinians could be deported to the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, which it “used as a penal colony since the second Intifada.”

On the other hand, on 29 November, acting Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid sent a letter to more than 50 world leaders, demanding them to oppose a Palestinian bid at the United Nations regarding an advisory position of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

“This resolution is the result of a concerted effort to single out Israel, discredit our legitimate security concerns, and delegitimize our very existence,” Lapid said in the letter.

With a majority of 98 votes in favor and 17 against, a committee of the UN General Assembly approved a resolution on 11 November requesting the ICJ to “urgently” issue a stance on the effects of Israel’s illegal occupation and colonization of Palestinian territories, The New Arab reported.

Orthodox Patriarch in Jerusalem Says Palestinian Christians are Targeted by Israeli Groups

December 17, 2022

Theophilos III, Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem. (Photo: Michał Józefaciuk, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, warned that Christians in the holy land have become the target of repeated and continuous attacks by radical Israeli groups, especially in the holy city of Jerusalem.

The Patriarch made the statement at the annual lighting ceremony of the Christmas tree held Friday night at Jaffa Gate’s Imperial Hotel in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Speaking from the balcony of the Imperial Hotel, a property of the Greek Orthodox Church targeted for takeover by Jewish settlers, Patriarch Theophilos said that “Christians have become the target of repeated and continuous attacks by radical Israeli groups, especially in the Holy City.”

“For the past decade, countless crimes have been committed against Christians, including physical and verbal attacks against priests and clergy, attacks have been targeted against churches, holy places have been vandalized and systematically desecrated, in addition to continuous intimidation of Christian citizens, who all they want is to live normal lives as the God-given right of all humans,” the Patriarch continued, adding:

“These radical groups are committing their crimes in a deliberate attempt to expel Christians from Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land.”


Kochavi, Milley discuss drill to simulate attack on Iran: Reports

November 23, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The IOF chief and US Joint Chief of Staff are considering holding a joint drill to prepare their forces for a possible confrontation between “Israel” and Iran.

Aviv Kochavi, Chief of General Staff of the Israel occupation forces, and US Joint Chief of Staff Mark Milley

Aviv Kochavi, Chief of General Staff of the Israel occupation forces, discussed a possible joint drill with the United States to simulate an attack on Iran and its allies during meetings in Washington this week, Fox News Digital reported on Tuesday.

Kochavi and US Joint Chief of Staff Mark Milley are considering holding a joint drill in the coming weeks to prepare their forces for a possible confrontation between the Israeli occupation and Iran or their allies, the Fox News report said.

According to the report, Kochavi met with a number of Pentagon and administration officials on Monday, including Milley and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, to discuss security threats in the Middle East.

“We are at a critical point in time that requires the acceleration of operational plans and cooperation against Iran and its terrorist proxies in the region,” Kochavi said in a statement.

Joint Staff Spokesperson Dave Butler said on Monday that Kochavi and Milley discussed opportunities for greater bilateral cooperation and coordination against a “range of threats posed by Iran,” as well as other items of mutual strategic interest.

Butler claimed that the US and the Israeli occupation maintain “strong military-to-military” ties as key partners committed to “peace and security” in the Middle East.

Israeli media reported on Tuesday that Kochavi met with a number of US officials and the two sides discussed the security situation in the occupied West Bank and their desire to “maintain stability and prevent the security situation from deteriorating,” before the IOF chief held a meeting with CIA Director-General William Burns.

This comes as Iran announced on Tuesday that it initiated enriching uranium at the Fordow nuclear power plant at a 60% purity level, in response to the recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) anti-Iran resolution that was drafted and pushed by the US and EU.

Read more: 

Interim Israeli PM to use pre-Nakba villa as official residence

The villa was built by wealthy Palestinian businessman Hanna Salameh in the 1930s, who was forced to leave Palestine after Israel was created

July 11 2022

(Photo credit: Times of Israel)

ByNews Desk-

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh demanded this month that interim Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid hand over a villa built prior to the Palestinian catastrophe, or Nakba, of 1948.

Shtayyeh gave the order when it was revealed that the Israeli caretaker prime minister was planning on living there temporarily.

The Villa Salameh, as engraved on one of the walls, was built in the 1930s by Palestinian businessman Hanna Salameh.

Salameh was expelled from Palestine in 1948 upon the formation of the state of Israel, and lived in exile in Lebanon.

The luxurious home is located in the Talbieh neighborhood of West Jerusalem, which was built a century ago and was home to several residences built by wealthy Palestinian elites.

After the formation of Israel and the resulting Nakba, the dispossessed residents of the Talbieh neighborhood were forced out of Palestine by Israeli forces.

Two years later, the villa, along with many Palestinian homes in the area, was seized by Tel Aviv under the Absentee Property Law.

The Absentee Property Law was passed by the Israeli government in 1950, allowing it to seize the homes of Palestinians who were forced to both abandon their properties and leave their country.

Reportedly, Lapid has temporarily occupied the villa, as the official prime ministerial residence on Balfour Street in occupied West Jerusalem, which is near the villa, undergoes renovation.

On 4 July, during a meeting in Ramallah, Shtayyeh strongly condemned Israel’s continued violation of homes left behind by refugees, and called for the right of return for all Palestinians to their homeland under UN Resolution 194.

The takeover by the Israeli prime minister of a historic Palestinian home aligns with Tel Aviv’s official policy of seizing or destroying Palestinian homes, and forcibly evicting their residents.

In March this year, the Jerusalem Municipality declared its intention to annex 800 Palestinian homes in the neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukaber, in order to raze them and build a commercial center as well as 500 settlement units for Jewish residents.

On 12 June, a report by Land Research Center of the Arab Studies revealed that Israeli forces demolished at least 1,032 Palestinian buildings and homes in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 2021.

Sabbagh: Syria Spared No Efforts to Stand by the Palestinians to Restore their Rights


23 June، 2022
New York, SANA

Syria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Bassam Sabbagh, reiterated that Syria spared no effort to stand by the Palestinians in their struggle to restore their occupied lands and their legitimate rights.

In a statement at the UNRWA Donations Conference, Sabbagh said “Palestine was and still the central cause of Syria, for which Syria spared no effort to stand by the brotherly Palestinians, especially their right to establish their independent state on their land whose capital is Jerusalem, and for Bassam Sabbagh to obtain their rights to return to their homeland in accordance with international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, foremost of which is Resolution No. 194 of 1948.

Ambassador Sabbagh indicated that “terrorism’s destruction of a large part of the infrastructure and vital sectors in a number of Palestinian camps calls for an urgent need to rehabilitate these sectors, which we hope will take place as soon as possible, including schools and health care centers, and UNRWA restores its headquarters and offices to resume managing activities through them”.

Fedaa al-Rhayiah/Amer dawa

Israeli extremists storm Al-Aqsa Mosque ahead of ‘Flag March’

29 May 2022


Israel Palestinians

Hundreds of extremist Israeli settlers stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem under the protection of armed occupation troops on 29 May.

The Israeli troops trapped Palestinian worshippers inside the Al-Qibli Mosque, blocking its doors with iron chains. They also set up barriers in the Old City of Jerusalem to prevent Palestinians from reaching Al-Aqsa.

Palestinian protesters were met with rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas, leaving at least 10 injured. Israeli forces also prevented Palestinian journalists and photographers from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque and threatened them with arrest.

Settlers also attacked an ambulance crew affiliated with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society as they were trying to reach an injured person.

This incursion into the holy grounds was led by far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir. Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu also joined Jewish supremacists in storming the compound.

Jewish worship is not permitted in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound according to Israeli law, and it is also forbidden by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

This provocative raid on Al-Aqsa comes just hours ahead of the so-called ‘Flag March,’ marking Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967.

The last time the Flag March took place, in May 2021, an 11-day war broke out between Palestinian resistance groups in the Gaza Strip and occupation forces. The violence resulted in the deaths of over 260 Palestinians and the destruction of large sections of the besieged strip.

Earlier this week, Palestinian resistance movement Hamas warned Israel against instigating “another war” by allowing these provocative actions in occupied East Jerusalem.

“I expect that Hamas and the other [military] factions are ready to do all they can to prevent this event, regardless of how much it costs us … The decision is in the hands of the Israelis and the international community. They can avoid a war and escalation if they stop this mad [march],” Bassem Naim, a top official in Hamas’s department of politics and foreign relations, said.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah also warned Israel of “dire consequences” should a dangerous escalation take place on the holy Islamic and Christian sanctuaries in occupied East Jerusalem.

“Our biggest fear is that the marchers will enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and harm it… I want to tell the Israeli government and everyone involved – any harm to al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock will lead to a major explosion in the region. This is a provocation against all Arab and Muslim peoples,” Nasrallah said on 25 May.

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (Weekly Update 21- 27 April 2022)

28 04 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Two Palestinians were killed and another succumbed to his wounds.  Also, 86 others, including 7 children, 2 paramedics and 3 journalists, were wounded by Israeli occupation forces’ (IOF) fire while tens of others suffocated and sustained bruises in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, except 2 fishermen wounded in the Gaza Strip. 

On 22 April 2022, a Palestinian succumbed to his serious injury in Ibn Sinai Hospital in Jenin, noting that he was wounded by IOF’s fire during their incursion into al-Yamoun village in Jenin on 18 April 2022.

On 26 and 27 April 2022, during IOF’s incursion into Jenin and Jericho in the West Bank 2 Palestinians were killed, and 6 others were wounded, including 2 children.  In addition, 4 Palestinians were arrested.  More information available here.

Meanwhile, those wounded were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied suppression of peaceful protests and gatherings organized by Palestinian civilians and they were as follows:

22 April: 31 Palestinians, including 2 medics and 3 journalists, were wounded during IOF’s extensive suppression of thousands of worshippers in al-Aqsa Mosque, yards and praying halls in East Jerusalem.  Following the Friday prayer, IOF resumed their attacks on the worshippers at al-Aqsa Mosque and fired tens of teargas canisters via drones in the yard of Dome of the Rock praying hall.  As a result, 26 suffocated, including children and women.  On the same day, a Palestinian was wounded with a bullet in his leg in clashes with IOF near the main entrance to al-Nabi Saleh village in Ramallah.  Also, a Palestinian was wounded with a bullet in the foot in IOF’s shooting at workers who attempt to cross via the annexation wall in western Jenin. Six others, including 2 children, were wounded with rubber bullets during IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in Qalqilya. 

23 April: two Palestinians were wounded with bullets, and 3 others were arrested after being beaten during IOF’s incursion into Qalendia refugee camp in East Jerusalem.  On the same day, 3 Palestinians, including 2 children, were wounded with rubber bullets during IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in Qalqilya.   Three others, including a child, were wounded with IOF’s fire as the latter were protecting settlers, who launched attacks against Palestinians in Sorif village in Hebron.

24 April: 4 Palestinians were wounded by IOF’s fire on workers who attempted to cross via the annexation wall in Tulkarm. 

25 April: a Palestinian was wounded with a bullet in clashes with IOF during their incursion into al-Zababda village in Jenin.  Also, 2 sibling fishermen were wounded with rubber bullets along with another one and then arrested by IOF after the latter chased and confiscated their boat off Rafah shore, southern Gaza Strip. They were later released.

26 April: a Palestinian was wounded with a bullet in clashes with IOF after their incursion into Qabatia village in Jenin.

In the same context on 21 April, 4 houses and a civilian object sustained severe damage after IOF’s warplanes targeted a military training site, western al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 41 Palestinians, including 32 civilians: 8 children, 3 women, and the rest were activists; 3 of them were killed in assassinations. Also, these attacks wounded 524 others, including 63 children, 2 women, 6 paramedics and 16 journalists: all in the West Bank, except 7 fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

26 April: a Palestinian elderly was wounded after a group of settlers attacked him with batons and pepper-sprayed him in Kisan village, eastern Bethlehem.

27 April: two Palestinians were wounded after settlers threw stones at Palestinian houses in Kafl Haris in Salfit.

So far this year, settlers carried out 99 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

On 25 April, IOF razed 50 dunums in al-Walaja village, Bethlehem, and uprotted hundreds of fruitful trees.

On 26 April, IOF confiscated a truck mounted concrete pump in Rojeeb village in Nablus under the pretext of working in Area C.

Since the beginning of 2022, IOF made 41 families homeless, a total of 248 persons, including 48 women and 115 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 51 houses and 5 residential tents. IOF also demolished 29 other civilian objects, razed 224 dunums and delivered 49 notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

 IOF carried out 228 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During this week’s incursions, 102 Palestinians were arrested, including 4 children and a woman, and summoned at least 8 others.  Also, IOF arrested 11 fishermen in the Gaza Strip and later released them.  More information available here.  

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 2673 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 2027 Palestinians were arrested, including 211 children and 16 women. IOF also conducted 12 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 39 Palestinians, including 25 fishermen, 11 infiltrators, and 3 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Israeli occupation authorities declared closure of crossings with the Gaza Strip and West Bank starting from Thursday afternoon, 21 April.  The crossing will operate normally on Saturday, 23 April, according to the situation.  On Saturday, 23 April, the Israeli occupation authorities announced closure of Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing, northern Gaza Strip to around 12,000 Palestinian workers and businessmen starting from Sunday, 23 April, and until further notice under the pretext of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.  However, the crossing was reopened on 26 April.

Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s March monthly update on the Gaza crossings.

On 23 April 2022, IOF obstructed access of thousands of Christian worshippers into the Church of the Resurrection in East Jerusalem to attend the Celebrations of Holy Saturday, which precede the Easter.  IOF heavily deployed and established many barriers.  Also, they closed some of the Old City’s gates with barricades and turned it into a military zone.  They attacked the visitors by beating and pushing them at the barriers erected. IOF also denied a priest’s access to the Church and arrested two visitors, including an Egyptian journalist.

 In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 109 temporary military checkpoints this week and arrested 7 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

So far in 2022, IOF established at least 1264 checkpoints and arrested 75 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

Churches Declare Christianity in The Holy Land is Under Threat from Jewish Extremists

March 09th, 2022

By Jessica Buxbaum


Christianity was born in Palestine, but its population there is dwindling in numbers.
“We are facing a very dangerous situation,” Archbishop Theodosios said, “where in a few years we might find the holiest city for Christians without any local Christians, without any indigenous Christians.”

OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM — Last month, Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) announced plans to encompass Christian holy sites within a national park. Church leaders condemned the move as part of systematic efforts to drive Christians out of the Holy Land.

Following backlash, INPA withdrew the plan from the Jerusalem Municipality’s March agenda, saying it would instead have discussions with local churches on how to preserve the area. Yet the project is back on the municipality’s Local Planning and Construction Committee’s agenda, scheduled for Aug. 31. INPA did not respond to requests for comment on why this item was placed back on the municipality’s agenda.

The plan proposes expanding the Jerusalem Walls National Park, which surrounds the Old City, by about 25% and calls for taking over privately-owned Palestinain and Church-owned land, including some of the most sacred Christian sites. Originally, the proposal also included a Jewish cemetery, but it was left out when Jewish authorities managing the cemetery opposed the decision. 

Following the plan’s announcement, Israeli peace and human rights organizations Bimkom – Planners For Planning Rights, Emek Shaveh, Ir Amim, and Peace Now said in a joint statement:

There is a direct link between what is happening in Sheikh Jarrah and the expansion plan. These are various mechanisms used by Israel in East Jerusalem to entrench its sovereignty, to marginalize non-Jewish presence and to prevent much needed development of Palestinian neighborhoods, thereby increasing the pressure to push them out of the Old City basin.

Church leaders also slammed the outlined expansion in a letter to Israel’s Minister of Environmental Protection: 

This is a brutal measure that constitutes a direct and premeditated attack on the Christians in the Holy Land, on the churches and on their ancient, internationally guaranteed rights in the Holy City. Under the guise of protecting green spaces, the plan appears to serve an ideological agenda that denies the status and rights of Christians in Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem Walls National Park was established after Israel annexed East Jerusalem following the 1967 Six-Day War. Its declaration included the areas designated for expansion, but those efforts did not come to fruition — until now.

Israeli human rights organizations condemned expansion for restricting Palestinian building, while also stressing the park’s current state has significantly hindered Palestinian development.

Sari Kronish, the architect with Bimkom, said the Jerusalem Walls National Park contains several Palestinian neighborhoods, including Wadi-Hilweh and al-Hizbe. “It’s not just a ring around the Old City walls,” Kronish told MintPress News. “Both of these neighborhoods found themselves suddenly living inside a national park, which completely prevents their improvement and development and not to mention also brings heightened law enforcement.”

Palestinian neighborhoods are not the only community affected by the development of Israeli parks. Father Koryoun Baghdasaryan, chancellor of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, told MintPress that since 1967, the Armenian Patriarchate has not received a permit to construct anything new in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City because the area is declared a green space.

“The idea of declaring [areas] national parks or green zones is to impose restrictions,” Baghdasaryan said, explaining how these restrictions have depleted the quarter’s commercial activity and economic growth. “Armenians bought these properties to secure the income for the patriarchate, the convent, to survive here,” Baghdasaryan continued. “Now there is no profit for us.” 

Settlers taking over 

In their letter to Israel’s environmental protection minister regarding the extension of the Jerusalem Walls National Park, church leaders wrote:

In recent years, we cannot help but feel that various entities are seeking to minimize, not to say eliminate, any non-Jewish characteristics of the Holy City by attempting to alter the status quo… [I]t seems that [the plan] was put forward and is being orchestrated, advanced and promoted by entities whose apparent sole purpose is to confiscate and nationalize one of the holiest sites to Christianity and alter its nature.

The churches are referring here to Israeli settler groups. More specifically, the settler associations Ir David Foundation (or El’ad) and Ateret Cohanim, which have been part of real estate and building operations in and around the Old City. 

El’ad is most recognized for managing the City of David archeological site located in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan and near Al-Aqsa Mosque. In addition to spurring eviction lawsuits against Silwan residents, El’ad also conducts archaeological excavations beneath Silwan’s streets, damaging the structural foundations of many Palestinian homes. The organization is also involved in the construction of a pedestrian bridge cutting through the Old City. 

“They’re trying to create a ring of settlement-related tourism attractions around the Old City,” said Talya Ezrahi, external relations coordinator at Emek Shaveh, an Israeli non-profit focused on archaeology. “Their objective is to transform the identity of the space around the Old City from one that is multicultural and multi-faith into one that has a Judeocentric narrative that justifies the settlements.”

Ateret Cohanim’s endeavors are slightly different. In the Christian Quarter of the Old City, the settler group purchased the Petra and New Imperial hotels from the Greek Orthodox Church in 2004 through a secret deal orchestrated by Nikolaos Papadimas, who was then responsible for the church’s properties. Papadimas disappeared following the $1.25 million sale. Now, the New Imperial Hotel’s Palestinian management is embroiled in a legal battle against their eviction after Israel’s Supreme Court ruled the deal was done in good faith in 2019. 

The hotel is situated between the Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches and next to the Old City’s main entrance, Jaffa Gate. “If this is in the hands of this radical group, this will threaten the Christian presence on Jaffa Gate and in Jerusalem,” Walid Dajani, the hotel’s manager, told MintPress. His family has been running the hotel since 1949 and are protected tenants. 

Archbishop Theodosios of Sebastia, from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, explained lands owned by the Greek Orthodox church are part of a Christian waqf or trust, meaning they are not for sale. “These properties support the steadfastness of Christians,” Archbishop Theodosios said. “These deals are illegal and these properties shall remain in the ownership of the church.” The religious leader added the Christian waqf had been under threat prior to the establishment of the Israeli state. “It started even before 1948,” Archbishop Theodosios said. “There are so many lands that belonged to churches in western Jerusalem that have been confiscated and so many Israeli official institutions were then built on these lands.”

Ateret Cohanim declined to comment on the matter. 

Attacks against Christians increasing 

A Palestinian Christian, lights candles, in a morning Christmas mass at St. George Melkite Greek Catholic Church, in the West Bank village of Burqin near Jenin city, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas)

belonging to the Christian community are under threat, so too is their own safety. 

Both Father Baghdasaryan and Archbishop Theodosios described how nearly anyone wearing a cross while walking through the Old City will experience verbal or physical assaults from Jewish extremists. “Once a person is identified as a Christian — doesn’t matter whether he is a clergyman, seminarian or a lay person — they [the settlers] just behave like they are not welcome here. They spit on them. They curse them,” Baghdasaryan said.

Armenian Christians are most susceptible to attacks, given the Armenian Quarter’s proximity to the Jewish Quarter. Last May, Armenian reverends Father Tiran Hakobyan and Father Arbak Sarukhanyan were beaten by a group of Israeli settlers while walking to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre from the Armenian Convent. Sarukhanyan was hospitalized for his injuries. “I have been in Jerusalem since 1995. [Attacks are] increasing yearly. In the past, there has never been any physical violence, but recently it’s becoming more and more common,” Baghdasaryan said.

Baghdasaryan has been spat on numerous times and Archbishop Theodosios has also been attacked when walking through the Old City. “Some of them are kids. They’re little children who spit, who verbally assault and who are treating religious people and elderly people in a very offensive way,” Archbishop Theodosios said. “These children are being raised on racism and hatred. They think that Jerusalem only belongs to them and not to any other people.”

But it’s not just physical violence that’s disturbing the Christian presence in Jerusalem. Archbishop Theodosios described how the municipality, together with settler groups, often organizes loud festivals during Jewish holidays in the Christian Quarter near the New Gate. “There will be music and dancing that is disrupting the area’s holiness and disrupting the daily lives of residents,” Archbishop Theodosios said.  “It’s an attempt to change the dominant Christian atmosphere of that area.”

Erasing a community

Israel Palestinians Easter
Palestinian Christians carry an effigy of Jesus Christ covered by flowers, during a symbolic funeral as part of their services marking Good Friday in the West Bank village of Al-Zababedah near Jenin, Friday, April 18, 2014. Followers of the Eastern Orthodox Churches are marking the solemn period of Easter. (AP/Mohammed Ballas)

Christianity was born in Palestine, but its population there is dwindling in numbers. In 2019, Jerusalem’s Palestinian Christian population was only 4% of the city’s demographic, with just under 5,000 residents in the Old City’s Christian Quarter.

Archbishop Theodosios believes strategic efforts are behind the city’s decreasing Christian numbers. Violence and land confiscation are part of a larger plan to empty Jerusalem of its Christian inhabitants.  

“We are facing a very dangerous situation,” Archbishop Theodosios said, “wherein a few years we might find the holiest city for Christians without any local Christians, without any indigenous Christians.”

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine ( Weekly Update 3 – 9 March 2022)

10. 3. 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Three Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed while the fourth succumbed to his wounds, and 16 others, including 2 children, were injured, in addition to tens others suffocated due to teargas inhalation in separate incidents in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

  • On 06 March, a Palestinian child was killed in occupied East Jerusalem after Israeli occupation forces (IOF) deliberately opened fire at him, claiming that he threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at them during their incursion into Abu Dis village. More details available here. Moreover, a 19-year-old male was shot with several live bullets by IOF at Bab Hetta Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates in occupied East Jerusalem, after carrying out a stabbing attack resulted in the injury of two Israeli police officers.
  • On 07 March, in a crime amounting to extra-judicial execution, IOF shot and killed a Palestinian male after wounding him and neutralizing any threats he proposed, as he stabbed two Israeli police officers in occupied East Jerusalem. More details available here.
  • On 09 March, a Palestinian civilian, from Burqa village in Nablus, succumbed to wounds he sustained on 01 March 2022, during the IOF’s suppression of a protest organized at the village’s entrance to support Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails. Also, a child was shot with a live bullet in his hand in clashes erupted at the village’s entrance during the funeral of the deceased. Furthermore, IOF suppressed peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians; majority of them were wounded.
  • On 03 March, two Palestinians were injured by IOF’s fire during their incursion into Nablus; one of them sustained wounds in his chest while the other in his hand. On 04 March, three Palestinians, including 2 children, were shot by IOF near a gate leading to “Beit Hadassah” settlement outpost in Hebron.
  • Additionally, two civilians were shot with rubber bullets in their limbs during the IOF’s suppression of  Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in northern Qalqilya.
  • IOF suppressed a peaceful protest organized in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem and pushed and beat the protestors and arrested two of them along with two solidarity activists, releasing them few hours later.
  • On 05 March, two Palestinian children were shot with rubber bullets in their limbs and head during the IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in Qalqilya. On 07 March, 8 Palestinians, including a child, were injured by IOF’s fire during their incursion into Silat al-Haritha village, west of Jenin.
  • In the Gaza Strip, IOF opened fire 7 times at agricultural lands in access restricted areas, eastern Khan Younis and Central Gaza Strip. Also, four IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats mostly off the northern, southern, and western Gaza shores.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 14 Palestinians, including 3 children, and wounded 120 others, including 23 children, a woman, 9 journalists and 2 medical personnel, all in the West Bank, except one fisherman in the Gaza Strip.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

This week, IOF demolished a commercial facility and 7 civilian objects, including 6 houses, displacing 7 families of 33 individuals, including 15 children and 10 women in the West Bank:

3 March :

  • IOF dismantled an agricultural barrack and confiscated tin plates designated to establish another barrack in northern Jordan valley.

4 March:

  • A Palestinian was forced to self-demolish his 90-square-meter house in Beit Hanina village, north of occupied East Jerusalem, displacing him and his family.

7 March:

  • A Palestinian was forced to self-demolish his house in Beit Hanina village, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. As a result, his family of 5 individuals, including a woman and 3 children, became homeless.
  • As part of collective punishment policy, the houses of two Palestinian detainees in the Israeli jails were blew up, displacing 3 families of 13 individuals, including 3 children and 5 women. More details available here.

8 March:

  • A house was demolished in eastern Hebron, displacing two families of 11 individuals, including 3 women and 7 children.

9 March:

  • An under-construction house (150 sqm) was demolished in Shu’fat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 40 families homeless, a total of 244 persons, including 47 women and 113 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 50 houses and 4 residential tents. IOF also demolished 29 other civilian objects, and delivered 28 notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 180 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, 112 Palestinians were arrested, including 22 children and a woman. Also, on 03 March 2022, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern Deir al-Balah, while on 07 March 2022, another  limited incursions was conducted by IOF in northern Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 1381 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 864 Palestinians were arrested, including 115 children and 9 women. IOF also conducted 10 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 12 Palestinians, including 7 fishermen. Meanwhile, 4 were arrested during infiltration attempts into Israel, and another at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

  • On 06 March 2022, Israeli settlers uprooted at least 150 olive trees, damaged an agricultural room, and stole 40 olive seedlings in Kafr ad-Dik village in western Salfit.
  • On the same day, Israeli settlers uprooted 80 olive seedlings in Duma village, southeast of Nablus.

So far this year, settlers carried out 50 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly update on the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 76 temporary military checkpoints this week and arrested 5 Palestinians at those checkpoints. The majority of the checkpoints were in Hebron (35).

So far in 2022, IOF established 623 temporary military checkpoints this week and arrested 38 Palestinians at those checkpoints

Palestinian Martyred After Critical Wounds Caused By ‘Israeli’ Fire in West Bank

March 9, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

A young Palestinian man has succumbed to the wounds he suffered days earlier after dozens of Zionist occupation military forces engaged in confrontations with a group of Palestinian demonstrators in the northern part of the occupied West Bank and fired live rounds to suppress the protest.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa, citing medical sources, reported that 23-year-old Ahmad Hikmat Saif, was martyred early on Wednesday due to serious injuries he sustained earlier.

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said ‘Israeli’ occupation troops shot the young man with three live rounds in his chest and abdomen last week during skirmishes that erupted when the forces stormed the village of Burqa, located 10.7 kilometers northwest of Nablus.

Saif underwent several surgeries and remained in a critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit in a hospital in Nablus until he passed away.

Medical director of the An-Najah National University Hospital in Nablus, Dr. Abdul-Karim Barqawi, said the young Palestinian man suffered severe bleeding as one of the bullets had severed a main artery. He required intensive treatment because bullets had seriously damaged his internal organs.

The incident comes less than two days after ‘Israeli’ occupation forces shot dead a young Palestinian man after he allegedly stabbed two officers in the Old City of occupied al-Quds.

Wafa reported that the incident took place at Bab al-Qataneen neighborhood on Monday evening.

Footage from the scene showed the officers standing over the man, identified as Abdul Rahman Qasim, who appears to be lying on the ground shortly after the attack.

One of the officers opens fire, then stands on top of the alleged attacker, while shouting obscenities.

Earlier in the day, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh condemned the killing of a young Palestinian man over an alleged stabbing attack in the Old City of occupied al-Quds, saying the Tel Aviv regime continues to escalate its repressive measures and attacks across the occupied territories through field execution of youths.

“‘Israel’ continues to intensify its aggression in large parts of our land, taking advantage of the international community’s preoccupation with the ongoing Ukraine conflict,” Shtayyeh said at a weekly cabinet meeting in the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

He warned of “the dangerous repercussions of the escalation of killings and field executions committed by the ‘Israeli’ forces in the Palestinian territories.”

A young Palestinian martyred, two Israeli policemen injured in Al-Quds

March 6, 2022 

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen Net 

The IOF closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque gates after shooting the young man.

A young Palestinian was killed and two Israeli police were injured in Al-Quds.

A young Palestinian was martyred by the IOF after carrying out a stabbing attack against the Israeli occupation in occupied Al-Quds.

19-year-old Samer Jamal Qawasmi was shot dead by the Israeli occupation forces, at dawn Sunday near Bab Hatta, north of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Al-Quds, after allegedly carrying out a stabbing attack that wounded two Israeli policemen.

The Palestinian youth “approached police officers who were stationed at the Bab Huta Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem (occupied Al-Quds), pulled out a knife and stabbed one of them,” the occupation police statement said.

Eyewitnesses reported that the occupation police, present at the scene, shot the young man and left him to bleed until he was martyred.

The sources added that the IOF closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque gates after shooting the young man, preventing worshipers from entering to perform the dawn prayer.

A state of alert prevailed in the ranks of the occupation police, and patrols and vehicles of its members flocked towards the Old City and began closing its gates.

For its part, the Israeli police reported that two policemen were slightly injured, one by the stabbing and the other by his colleague’s bullet.

Palestinian factions praise the operation

The Hamas resistance movement praised the heroic stabbing operation against the occupation police at the Lion’s Gate in the Old City of Al-Quds and considered it a natural response to the occupation’s escalation of crimes against the people in al-Quds and the entire occupied West Bank.

In turn, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said that the new operation confirms the will, the complementarity of the struggle, and the continuity of the resistance.

Palestinian Activist from Occupied Jerusalem Threatened with Expulsion from Israeli Authorities

March 4, 2022

Tensions erupt between Palestinians and Jewish settlers in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. (Photo: via Activestills)

Awad Salaymeh, a Palestinian rights activist from occupied Jerusalem, said on Friday that he was threatened with expulsion from his home city by the Israeli occupation authorities, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Salaymeh told reporters he was summoned by the Israeli intelligence for questioning at the so-called Russian Compound where he was threatened of expulsion by Israeli interrogators in the event he continued “incitement at Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood”.

He said the Israeli threat will not dishearten his support for native Palestinian families facing a threat of forceful Israeli eviction from their homes in the occupied Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Salaymeh added that, along with other activists, he will continue to be present in Sheikh Jarrah until far-right Israeli MK Itamar Ben-Gvir removes his makeshift office, which he recently set up in the vicinity of the Palestinian family of Salem’s home in the neighborhood.

The neighborhood has been under tight Israeli entry measures ever since Ben-Gvir set up his makeshift office in the neighborhood, in what Palestinians see as a provocative step aimed at going ahead with Israeli expulsion plans targeting dozens of indigenous families in the neighborhood.

Around 300 Palestinians, all of whom face the prospect of being evicted from their homes by Israeli authorities, live in the neighborhood.

Occupied by Israel in 1967, Sheikh Jarrah has been a significant flashpoint since May 2021, after Israel tried to expel Palestinian families from the area to make way for Israeli settlers.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

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ترسيم الحدود البحريّة: لبنان قويّ.. لا تضعفوا

الجمعة 4 آذار 2022

 ناصر قنديل

في حروب ترسيم الخرائط الممتدة على مساحة العالم، لبنان ليس بعيداً، ولا حاجة للبحث عن البوصلة، فهي كانت وستبقى في ترسيم الحدود البحرية، حيث الأميركي والإسرائيلي حاضران بقوة، وحيث المقاومة حاضرة بقوة، وحيث سورية وروسيا وفرنسا وإيران وتركيا، إضافة لأميركا، أطراف غير مباشرة في كل ما يتصل بمعارك الغاز والطاقة وشبكات الأنابيب والأسواق، ولا يستطيع أحد أن يتجاهل الارتباط الوثيق بين التحريك المتسارع لملف التفاوض من قبل الأميركيين وبين تزاحم الاستحقاقات الدولية والإقليمية، خصوصاً التي تتصل بحرب الغاز التي تتخذ عنواناً آخر اسمه أوكرانيا، ومفاوضات الغاز التي تتخذ عنواناً آخر اسمه الملف النووي الإيراني.

كل دول العالم تبحث في هذه الحروب الكبيرة والصغيرة عن مصالحها، وترسم سياساتها على أساسها، ولبنان للأسف إما مذعور بلا سبب للذعر، أو مجامل لحد النفاق بوهم التزلف والاسترضاء بلا سبب. فمصلحة لبنان قبل الحديث عن موازين القوى وفرص الفوز بتحقيق المصلحة، هي مصلحة واضحة، بنيل أوسع مساحة ممكنة من المدى البحري الممتد حتى الخط 29 والذي يشكل حقل قانا أحد أبرز حقوله الواعدة. وهذا ما لا يستطيع أحد إنكاره. ومصلحة لبنان هي الوصول سريعاً لبدء استخراج الثروات للاستفادة المبكرة التي تفرضها حاجاته الحيوية والمصيرية في مواجهة حال الانهيار، والاستفادة المبكرة من الحاجات الاستثنائية التي تعيشها الأسواق والدول، ومصلحة لبنان أن يكون ضمن حلف لتصدير الغاز يضمه مع سورية وروسيا، ولا مانع بأن يضم فرنسا ومصر شرط ألا يضمّ “إسرائيل”، كما هو حال الأنبوب الذي يرعاه وزير الخارجية الأميركية السابق مايك بومبيو.

السؤال حول فرص تحقيق هذه المصلحة ما تتيحه موازين القوى، تجيب عليه وقائع تتصل بركيزتين واضحتين، الأولى هي قوة المقاومة وحضورها. وهذه الركيزة التي جلبت الأميركي للوساطة وفرضت على الإسرائيلي التفاوض. والثانية هي أزمة الغاز المتفاقمة في العالم والتي تجعل الأميركي مستعجلاً والإسرائيلي مستعجلاً أكثر، وبدلا من أن يتساءل بعض المسؤولين اللبنانيين عن كيفية استرضاء الأميركي، عليهم أن يفهموا أن المرحلة تتيح للبنان رفع سقف طلباته والتصرف بلغة القوي، وأنه إن فعل ذلك فسيجد أن الأميركي مضطر لأخذ طلباته بالإعتبار طلباً للوصول إلى اتفاق في أقرب وقت.

يأتي المبعوث الأميركي آموس هوكشتاين بعدما سبقته ورقة مقترحاته، فيما الحكومة تهدر ماء وجهها في الحرب الأوكرانية لاسترضاء الأميركي، وتتموضع بطريقة غريبة عجيبة لا تشبه لبنان الذي كان قبل أيام يتغنى قادته بحياده، ويدعون لتكريسه نهجا مقوننا على الصعيد العالمي، فتنقلب الآية عندما يصير الأميركي هو المتضرر من حياد لبنان. والسؤال هل يمكن للبنان تسويق الغاز بعد التنقيب في أنبوب مشترك مع “إسرائيل”، وهل يمكن للبنان أن ينال بالتذلل للأميركي حقوقاً، بما في ذلك ما يتصل بصندوق النقد الدولي، أم ان القضية تتصل بحسابات ترسمها العقوبات فقط؟

لبنان قويّ وقادر على فرض مصالحه، والعالم في حال تسابق، وموقع لبنان يتيح حجز مقعد فاعل في مفاوضات الغاز، ومن خلفها أسواق الغاز، وحسابات القوة تبدأ بالمقاومة وتنتهي بالإجابة عن سؤال حلفاء الغاز!

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Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine Weekly Update (24 February – 02 March 2022)

03. 03. 2022


Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Two Palestinian civilians killed, and 22 others wounded, including 3 children and 2 journalists, by Israeli occupation forces’ (IOF) fire in the West Bank; meanwhile, a fisherman was wounded with rubber bullets in the Gaza Strip.  Dozens of others sustained bruises in IOF’s attacks.

At dawn on 01 March 2022, IOF’s Special Unit killed a Palestinian civilian after the former sneaked into Jenin refugee camp to arrest a wanted person and clashed with an armed group member and killed him as well. More details available here.  On 02 March 2022, IOF killed a Palestinian university student after shooting him in the head without any justification in Beit Fajjar, southern Bethlehem.  More information available here.

On 24 February, a Palestinian driver sustained serious wounded after IOF opened fire at his hand and the bullet entered his abdomen and exited his back.  The driver was in his vehicle at the time near al-Jalama checkpoint in Jenin.  Other civilians were wounded in separate incidents; mainly in peaceful protests and gatherings. Most prominently was on 28 February 2022 when IOF suppressed thousands of Palestinians commemorating the anniversary of al-Israa’ and al-Me’araj in Bab al-‘Amoud Yard in Jerusalem.  As a result, a child with hearing disability was wounded with a sound bomb in her face while tens of civilians sustained bruises.  On 25 February 2022, 6 civilians, including a child and 2 journalists, were wounded with rubber bullets during IOF’s suppression of peaceful protests in Qalqilya, Nablus and Hebron.  On the same day, 5 civilians were wounded with rubber bullets and a sound bomb fired by IOF during the latter’s protection of settlers’ raid into Kafr al-Deek village, western Salfit, while a sixth civilian was wounded in the head after IOF beat him.  Also, a civilian was wounded with a bullet in the left thigh near al-Nabi Younis intersection, northern Hebron; he was then arrested and taken by IOF in a military ambulance.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF opened fire 4 times at agricultural lands in access restricted areas, eastern Khan Younis and Central Gaza Strip. Also, six IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats mostly off the northern, southern, and western Gaza shores. As a result, a fisherman was wounded with a rubber bullet on 25 February 2022.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 10 Palestinians, including 2 children, and wounded 104 others, including 21 children, 2 paramedics and 9 journalists, all in the West Bank, except one fisherman in the Gaza Strip.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

This week, IOF demolished 15 civilian objects, including 6 houses, displacing 2 families of 13 individuals, including 5 children and 2 women.  IOF also demolished 9 commercial facilities, razed a plot of land and seized another and a vehicle.

  • On 24 February, an excavator was seized when working in an agricultural land in eastern Yatta, southern Hebron, and 2 under-construction residential buildings were demolished in ‘Anata village in East Occupied Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction.
  • On 25 February, a Palestinian was forced to self-demolish a 90-sqm house built of tinplate in Jabal Mukaber in East occupied Jerusalem, displacing a family of 6, including a woman.
  • On 27 February, 2 notices were issued to evacuate a plot of land (32 dunums) within 72 hours. The land is part of Khelet al-Dabe’a nature reserve, eastern Yata, eastern Hebron.
  • On 28 February, a Palestinian civilian was forced to self-demolish his house in Beit Hanina, northern occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction, displacing a family of 7, including a woman and 5 children. Also, another was forced to self-demolish his under-construction house in Silwan in East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction while another under-construction house of 80 sqms was demolished in Fasayil village, northern Jericho under the pretext of building in an archeological area.
  • On 01 March, a 4-donum ploy of land was demolished and a barrack and 3 warehouses established on the land were demolished in Ghzayel neighborhood, southeast of East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Meanwhile, a plan was approved to confiscate a plot of land owned by a Palestinian family adjacent to the al-Yousifiya Cemetery, in East Jerusalem, aiming at establishing a national garden and tourist areas there.

On 02 March, 2 commercial facilities were demolished near Hizma military checkpoint, northeast of East Jerusalem; 4 notices were distributed to stop the construction work in 4 houses in eastern Yatta in Hebron, giving their owners 3 weeks to settle their legal issues under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C; and 3 offices, a fuel station tank and a horse barrack were demolished in Beit Hanina, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. This included assaults on workers and the arrest of one civilian.

Since the beginning of 2022, IOF made 33 families homeless, a total of 211 persons, including 37 women and 98 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 44 houses and 4 residential tents. IOF also demolished 28 other civilian objects, and delivered 6 notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

This week, 6 settler-attacks were reported in the West Bank, resulting in the injury of 2 brothers with bullets, causing bruises to a mother and her daughter and uprooting 45 olive seedlings in addition to puncturing the wheels of 11 vehicles. 

  • 25 February: 2 brother were wounded; one was wounded with a bullet in his foot and the other was wounded with a bullet in his back, after settlers directly opened fire at them as their vehicles lightly collided near Hizma checkpoint. On the same day, under IOF’s protection, settlers attacked civilian houses in Kafr al-Deek village, west of Salfit, and threw stones at them.
  • 27 February: a Palestinian woman and her baby girl sustained bruises and wounds in a settlers’ attack on her their house in Sinjil village, eastern Ramallah. Also, settlers from “Ma’ale Libouneh” settlement, norheastern Ramallah, threw stones at vehicles and caused them damage.
  • 28 February: settlers attacked a Palestinian family in their land in KAfr al-Deek village, western Salfit, and demolished their agricultural room.
  • 01 March: settlers from Tafouh settlement uprooted 45 olive seedlings in Yasouf village, eastern Salfit.
  • 02 March: Settlers punctured wheels of 11 vehicles and wrote racist slogans against Arabs in Iskaka village, eastern Salfit.

So far this year, settlers carried out 48 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 177 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During this week’s incursions, 114 Palestinians were arrested, including 30 children and a woman.  IOF also conducted a limited incursion into eastern Khan Younis on 28 February 2022.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 1201 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 752 Palestinians were arrested, including 93 children and 8 women. IOF also conducted limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 11 Palestinians, including 7 fishermen. Meanwhile, 4 infiltrations were reported; one was via Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. On 01 March 2022, IOF arrested a Palestinian at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing, who came to work in Israel. Details available in PCHR’s monthly update on the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 80 temporary military checkpoints this week and arrested 6 Palestinians at those checkpoints. The majority of the checkpoints were in Hebron (31).  So far in 2022, IOF established at least 547 checkpoints  and arrested 33 Palestinians at those checkpoint.

On Palestine’s Everyday Victories: Why Israel is No Longer the Exception

March 2, 2022

Two young activists join a victory rally in Gaza City. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, the Palestine Chronicle)

By Ramzy Baroud

Can Israel be pressured? Or is Tel Aviv the only exception to the global political order in which every country, big or small, is subjected to pressures and subsequent change in attitude and behavior?

Several events, in recent days, bring the question of Israel’s legal and moral accountability to the fore. On February 21, Israel’s Nature and Park Authority decided to withdraw a plan which aimed at illegally seizing church-owned lands in the Mount of Olives in occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem. The plan has sparked anger and resistance among Palestinian Christians and Muslims alike. Palestinian Christian leaders had denounced the proposed theft of the land as  a “premeditated attack on the Christians in the Holy Land.”

After the Israeli newspaper, The Times of Israel, reported that the project was set to receive approval from the Jerusalem municipality on March 2, the Palestinian community and spiritual leaders began rallying support not only among Palestinians, but also internationally to mobilize against Israel’s latest colonizing scheme.

The Israeli decision to withdraw its plan proves that, once more, Palestinian resistance works. This event is reminiscent of the massive Palestinian mobilization in and around the Haram Sharif compound in 2017, when mass mobilization in Jerusalem forced Israel to remove metal detectors and other ‘security measures’ from the holy Muslim site

One day following the Israeli decision to scrap the Mount of Olives plan, the Israeli Jerusalem Magistrate Court agreed to temporarily freeze the eviction order targeting the Salem family in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. The Palestinian family, three generations of whom live in the targetted home, have mobilized, along with many other families and activists, Palestinians and international activists to protest Israel’s illegal seizure of Palestinian homes in the occupied city.

While the Israeli court’s decision is only temporary and must not conceal the massive and systematic ethnic cleansing campaign under way in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and the rest of East Jerusalem, it must also be viewed in a positive light, as it gives a boost to popular resistance in occupied Jerusalem and throughout the Palestinian homeland.

More still. On February 25, two Palestinian detainees, Hisham Abu Hawash and Miqdad Al-Qawasmi, returned to their families after spending many months in unlawful detention and following 141 and 113 days of hunger strikes, respectively. The immense suffering of these two men, along with numerous amounts of footage and photos of their gaunt, emaciated bodies, have been used for months by Palestinians to demonstrate Israel’s brutality and the legendary sumoud, steadfastness, of ordinary Palestinians.

Expectedly, the two freed prisoners were received with jubilation by their families, friends and thousands of Palestinians. Throughout the celebrations, the word ‘victory’ was highlighted over and over again, whether in the streets, in Palestinian media or on social media.

These are but a few examples of daily Palestinian victories that are rarely highlighted, or even recognized as such. These achievements, however seemingly humble, are crucial to understanding the nature of everyday Palestinian resistance; but are also equally important in realizing that even Israel, which likes to see itself as an exceptional state in every respect, is subject to pressure.

When Palestinians, along with many nations around the world, called on Israel to end the forced evictions of Jerusalemites in Sheikh Jarrah last May, then Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, insisted that Israel “firmly rejects” pressure, carrying on with his coercive measures unhindered.

When Palestinians rebelled, rising in collective solidarity with Jerusalem and Gaza, the likes of US President Joe Biden called on all parties to ‘de-escalate’. Yet, Netanyahu continued to behave as if his country was above the law, political protocol and even common sense. “I am determined to continue with this operation until its goal is achieved,” Netanyahu insisted. The Israeli Prime Minister even considered the war on Gaza – in fact, on all Palestinians – to be “Israel’s natural right”. But when Palestinians carried on with their resistance, joined this time by a growing and vast global solidarity movement, Israel was forced to accept a ceasefire, achieving little, if any, of its supposed objectives.

Currently, Israel is seeking the help of various mediators to free several Israeli soldiers – or their remains – who are currently held in Gaza. Palestinians are open to a prisoner exchange and are demanding the freedom of hundreds of prisoners, including leading Palestinian figures, who have been held in Israel for years.

Moreover, the Palestinians are also seeking real guarantees to avoid the repeat of a similar prisoner exchange of October 2011, where over 1,000 Palestinians were released but some of whom were rearrested by Israel shortly after. In this case, too, Israel has pledged that it will relent in the face of Palestinian conditions, and it most likely will.

Israel is not the only country in the world that claims to be above pressure and accountability. Many colonial regimes in the past refused to acknowledge popular resistance in their respective colonies yet, somehow, traditional colonialism has ended with the inglorious defeat of the colonizers.

This is not to argue that Israeli exceptionalism is not a real thing. It is, and can be observed in full view at the US Congress and in the behavior of many pro-Israel Western governments. True, exceptionalism often yields hypocrisy and double standards but also the illusion that a particular state is above the natural order, which has governed state relations, politics and geopolitical realignments since the start of human civilization.

While Israel continues to delude itself that it is above pressure, Palestinians must realize that their resistance, in all of its manifestations, is capable of delivering the intended outcome, this being freedom. The rise of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and its ability to challenge Israel at numerous platforms worldwide, is a perfect example of how Palestinians managed to take their fight for freedom to the rest of the world. If Israel is, indeed, not susceptible to pressure, why would it then fight the BDS movement with much ferocity and, at times, desperation?

Israel is not the exception, and like other colonial, apartheid regimes, it will eventually collapse, paving the way for a possible future where Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews can coexist as equals.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

المواجهة الروسيّة لتهديدات الأمن القوميّ في أوكرانيا…

2022 الثلاثاء 1 آذار

 د. جمال زهران*

ستون عاماً (1962 – 2022)، بين واقعتين تكشفان عن محطات تاريخية لتغيير النظام العالمي، بالتفاصيل نفسها والبيئة المحيطة، واستهداف الأمن القومي للدول العظمى. ففي الأولى الشهيرة بأزمة خليج الخنازير وهي في الأصل الأزمة الكوبية، حيث تقع دولة كوبا في المربع الشرقي الجنوبي للولايات المتحدة، أيّ على بُعد أميال من الحدود الأميركية، قام الاتحاد السوفياتي الذي أكد وجوده كقطب دولي منافس للولايات المتحدة بعد تزعّمها لهذا النظام بعد زوال النظام القديم ورموزه العديدة. إلا أنّ أميركا رفضت الاعتراف بذلك، وأصرّت على انفرادها بالعالم والهيمنة عليه. في الوقت ذاته الذي سعى الاتحاد السوفياتي لكي يثبت لأميركا وجوده وتنافسه، وفي وقائع مثل الحرب الكورية، وفي دعم توليد الصين الشعبية، أو في تكوين حلف وارسو (الذراع العسكري)، أو تكوين منظمة الكوميكون (الذراع الاقتصادي) للكتلة الشرقية بزعامته. ثم جاءت حرب 1956 بالعدوان الثلاثي على مصر، لتخرج القوى الدولية القديمة (إنجلترا – فرنسا) من ساحة النظام الدولي، وبتأكيد الإنذار السوفياتي الشهير، حاول الاتحاد السوفياتي تأكيد وجوده منافساً للولايات المتحدة في إعادة تشكيل النظام الدولي. ومع ذلك أرادت الولايات المتحدة تقزيمه، والتعامل معه كقوة درجة ثانية/ تليه في الترتيب! فماذا فعل الاتحاد السوفياتي في هذا الشأن؟! وهو الذي أنتج الصاروخ العابر للقارات في منتصف الخمسينيات؟! لذلك كانت حصيلة التفكير السوفياتي، هي الذهاب إلى حزام الأمن القومي الأميركي وإعلان تهديدهم للأميركيين. فاستغلّ الاتحاد السوفياتي اندلاع الثورة الكوبية بزعامة كاسترو وإعلانه تبني الأيديولوجية الشيوعية، فسارع الاتحاد بدعمه وتأييده، بل وصل الأمر إلى نصب قواعد صواريخ تجاه الولايات المتحدة على الأراضي الكوبية. هنا شعرت الولايات المتحدة بالخطر المحدق بأمنها القومي وشعبها، وهدّدت وتوعّدت وطالبت بفكّ الصواريخ ورحيلها. وقامت الولايات المتحدة بمحاصرة كوبا التي تبدو كجزيرة في المحيط الأطلنطي، ومن كلّ جانب، عرف بحصار أميركا لخليج الخنازير الفاصل بين أميركا وكوبا، وهدّدت باستخدام القنبلة النووية، إن لم تتمّ إزالة الصواريخ السوفياتية!

فماذا كانت النتيجة؟! تركّزت في الحوار والتفاوض، حتى تمّ التوصل إلى اتفاق، بمقتضاه، تظلّ كوبا تحت الرعاية السوفياتية دون محاولة أميركا تغيير نظامها الاشتراكيّ، ويتم تفكيك الصواريخ وإعادة توجيهها في الجهة الأخرى بدلاً من توجيهها قبالة القلب الأميركي، مع تخفيض عددها. ولكن النتيجة الكبرى هي القبول الأميركي لتنافس دولي مع الاتحاد السوفياتي، أيّ رضوخاً أميركياً بالاعتراف الرسمي بالاتحاد السوفياتي، كقطب دولي منافس للولايات المتحدة، وأصبح النظام الدولي ثنائيّ القطبيّة رسمياً. وأصبحت سمة هذا النظام الجديد هو المنافسة والحرب الباردة والقبول بعدم المواجهة المباشرة وتفاديها، والقبول بفكرة «الوكلاء» في إدارة الأزمات الدولية، أو الإقليمية المعروفة بـ «By Proxy».

أما «أزمة أوكرانيا»، الحالية التي بدأت صامتة، حتى تفجّرت مع بدايات العام الحالي (2022)، فهي تتلخص في إعلان رئيس أوكرانيا (فولوديمير زيلينسكي)، عن إنتاج القنبلة النووية، وفقاً لإعلان مع الغرب يُعرف بـ «زيلينسكي»، يقضي بإعادة الوضعية النووية لأوكرانيا، والانضمام إلى حلف الناتو! وهي أزمة في الأصل، فجّرتها أميركا وبدعم أوروبا، بمساندة انقلاب الرئيس الحالي (الممثل المغمور) والذي قبل ممارسة الدور العميل للغرب، وألعوبة في أيديهم. وعلى الرغم من أنّ قرارات روسيا العظمى كانت حاسمة بضمّ جزيرة القرم فوراً إليها، ورفض تحدي الغرب وذلك عام 2014. واستمرت الأوضاع صامتة حتى تفجّرت مؤخراً بتصريحات الرئيس الأوكراني، وإعلان أميركا وأوروبا الدعم والمساندة له، وإصرارهم على تنفيذ الإعلان (باستعادة الوضعية النووية لأوكرانيا)، وضمّها إلى حلف الناتو، الأمر الذي يهدّد الأمن القومي الروسي مباشرة، مثلما حدث عندما نُصبت الصواريخ السوفياتية مباشرة وعلى مقربة من قلب أميركا في (61/1962).

فطالبت روسيا، بإلغاء إعلان (زيلينسكي)، ورفض استعادة إنتاج أوكرانيا للسلاح النووي، ورفض الانضمام إلى حلف الناتو، وبالتالي رفض الوجود العسكري الأوروبي في أوكرانيا، وعلى الحدود الروسية. وعندما شعرت وأدركت روسيا، استحالة التفاوض والوصول إلى حلّ سلمي، فكانت الخطوات المتسارعة بفصل إقليمي (لوغانسك – دونيتسك) عن أوكرانيا والاعتراف الروسي بهما، ثم التدخل العسكري لحمايتهما من العدوان الأوكراني مدعوماً من الغرب الأوروبي، والأميركي، وامتدّ التدخل حتى السيطرة الكاملة على جميع أراضي أوكرانيا وإسقاط العاصمة «كييف»، والأيام المقبلة ستكشف تفاصيل ما جرى ويجري.

إلا أنّ ما يجب الوقوف عنده هو: سعي أوروبا وأميركا لتقزيم روسيا وقبولها دولة عادية، إلا أنّ روسيا رفضت ذلك، وأكدت تشاركها ومنافستها بذاتها وبالتعاون مع الصين، في إدارة العالم ونظامه الدولي، مثلما حدث في أزمة خليج الخنازير في عام 1962. فالواضح أنّ روسيا كانت ولا تزال تدافع عن أمنها القومي، وعدم الاستهانة بها، وسعياً نحو استعادة المجد.

إنّ استهانة الغرب (أميركا وأوروبا) بالمنافسين الدوليين، والاستمرار في تهديد الأمن القومي لدول عظمى كروسيا والصين، مآله الفشل كما رأينا، وما يحدث في أوكرانيا هو فتح لفصل جديد في كتاب «نظام دولي جديد» متعدّد الأقطاب (أميركا وأوروبا + روسيا العظمى + الصين الكبرى).

ولنتابع ما يجري باهتمام، لانعكاساته الخطيرة على العالم، وعلى إقليمنا العربي على وجه الخصوص.


*أستاذ العلوم السياسية والعلاقات الدولية، والأمين العام المساعد للتجمع العالمي لدعم خيار المقاومة، ورئيس الجمعية العربية للعلوم السياسية.

My Day in Palestine: The Stunning Beauty and Cruel Reality of an Occupied Land

February 21st, 2022

Israeli security forces walk through the streets of Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem after the demolition of the family home of Palestinian militant Fadi Abu Shkhaidem, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022. Abu Shkhaidem was fatally shot by Israeli police after he killed one Israeli and wounded four others in a shooting attack in Jerusalem’s Old City in Nov. 2021. Israeli officials say the demolitions deter future attacks, while rights groups view it as a form of collective punishment. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

By Miko Peled

MintPress News 

JERUSALEM — The ruins of the Palestinian village of Sataf sit on the slope of a beautiful hill on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Today the area is a Jewish National Foundation (JNF) park called “Har Eitan,” or Mount Eitan. It is covered in pine trees that were planted by the JNF to hide the Zionist crime of ethnic cleansing, a crime that has been designated as a crime against humanity.

In 2021, massive fires broke out on the hills surrounding Jerusalem and countless pines were burned, including the ones around Sataf. There is an 8 kilometer trail that goes around the mountain and people use it to hike and jog and sometimes ride mountain bikes. Parts of this trail are very steep and in some cases these steep parts go on for a good mile.

When I am in Jerusalem, Sataf is where I like to run, and the day after my arrival here in mid-February I went on a run. I don’t always run the full 8 kilometer circle because those steep hills are a killer, but this time I did. Running through the mountain I saw burnt towering pine trees, standing like a monument to the arrogance and stupidity of British and Zionist settlers and colonizers who think they know what’s good for the “colony.”

As I ran, I saw laborers, mostly Palestinians, cutting down these tall burnt matchsticks and I could see for the first time that the ground was visible. The plain earth under the trees was visible after all these years, and there was Palestinian landscape right there alive and well.

The terraces that were built and cultivated by Palestinian farmers throughout the centuries are still there, as are the olive trees, the occasional fig, and countless almonds that are now in full bloom. It is cold and rainy in Jerusalem now and so the ground is covered with small pink cyclamens and tall pancratium with white flowers that grow everywhere this time of year.

Sataf ruins

Trees planted by the Jewish National Fund engulf the ruins of Palestinian homes in Sataf. Photo | Zochrot

Reality confronts nature

The Northern Naqab is also green this time of year. Vast green spaces that have not yet been spoiled by Zionist encroachment allow for a truly wonderful getaway for an afternoon. Walking through the low hills of the Naqab as the sun sets and the moon comes up is an experience that allows us to imagine what Palestine was like before it was torn apart by Zionists and what can still be saved if we act fast. The reality of life in Palestine could hardly be more frightening and less inspiring than the natural phenomena I was describing.

Better still to do this with young Palestinian Bedouins from the Naqab who know the land and appreciate its value and beauty in ways that privileged settlers could never comprehend. I had an opportunity to have a chat with some young Palestinian Bedouins in Bi’r Al-Saba. It was a small gathering organized ad-hoc by activist friends who reject Zionism, stand up to defend their lands, and demand their right to maintain their way of life.

An Israeli woman who happened to be present when I spoke stormed out of the meeting. She said that I and the organizers were poisoning the young minds of these Palestinians. This arrogance, which is sadly characteristic among Zionists, leads many to believe that the problem is not the crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Palestinians in the Naqab but rather their peers and people like me talking to them about it.

Sheikh Jarrah

In a moment of caring in the midst of madness and violence, like a lotus flower rising from the mud, a clown was walking among the crowd at the Sheikh Jarrah protest. I had seen her before many times; she gives out little heart-shaped stickers and in the summer she has a little spray bottle and she sprays people with cold water. The police brutalize her as they do anyone who dares to challenge them, even a clown.

In the protest that took place on Friday, February 18 she was there. The police acted with hate and brutality that matched the Amnesty International definition of Israeli crimes as Crimes against Humanity. At one point the clown, whose name I don’t know, stood in a row with other protesters facing the Israeli terror squads. They wanted the protesters to back off and immediately began to push.

When these guys push, they do it with the brutality of a herd of mad buffalos. The clown was pushed so hard it looked as though her entire torso was going to snap off. When the pushing and shoving begins, everyone runs or gets trampled. The violence was unprovoked, inexcusable and certainly unnecessary. The only violence during these protests comes from the police.

Israel Palestinians

Israeli riot police officers scuffle with protesters in Sheikh Jarrah, east Jerusalem, Feb. 18, 2022. Mahmoud Illean | AP

Sometimes empathy is all we have

Later in the evening, before I left the scene, I walked over to the clown to say thank you and see if she was alright. She was standing next to one of the older gentlemen, who lives in Sheikh Jarrah. Just as many of the other veteran residents of this neighborhood, he cannot wrap his mind around the reality that is unfolding around him. One cannot blame him, since it is a madness that no healthy mind can understand.

This gentleman was venting; then he went from venting to lecturing, then to expressing his rage and frustration, and then again confusion. The whole time I stood there she was present, listening to the man go on and on. She reached her hand out to me for a moment to say, “I know you’re here,” and she kept listening with her heart open to this man whose life is being terrorized by maniacal, racist, violent gangs who have the full weight of the Israeli state behind them. He clearly needed to speak out, even if it was to a clown.

The enormity of the process that is unfolding in Sheikh Jarrah is hard for people to grasp. Those of us who show up to express solidarity and to stand with the Palestinians who are victims of this crime against humanity cannot possibly feel the pain and fear that the Palestinians, who live through it and whose lives are being ruined, experience. To see this Palestinian gentleman stand before a clown and vent his feelings, and to see the heartfelt way in which she was listening, was a great way to end a very difficult day.

A stun grenade

About 10 minutes after I had left, while I was walking to my car, I heard two loud explosions. It was strange because the protest had ended, the police were just casually standing around and all that remained were people from the neighborhood singing and dancing. But that too needed to stop so they threw two stun grenades into the crowd.

The battle for Sheikh Jarrah could not be more important. The only way we can prevent the total destruction of the lives of the Palestinians in Jerusalem – and the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in particular – is by demanding that governments and nongovernmental organizations around the world apply the recommendations of Amnesty International’s report on Israeli apartheid, including compelling Israel to grant Palestanians their human rights, guarantee their right of return, and provide them with reparation for the loss of land and property they have endured under Israeli occupation.

Feature photo | Israeli security forces walk through the streets of Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem after the demolition of the family home of Palestinian militant Fadi Abu Shkhaidem, Feb. 1, 2022. Mahmoud Illean | AP

Miko Peled is MintPress News contributing writer, published author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. His latest books are”The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

Palestinian Legal Expert Reveals Israel’s Motives behind Sheikh Jarrah Evictions (VIDEO)

February 24, 2022

PDD hosted a discussion on Sheikh Jarrah with Palestinian legal expert Boudour Hassan. (Infographic: PDD, Supplied)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

“This is broad daylight theft, but it’s something that has been going on for decades.”, Palestinian writer and legal researcher Budour Hassan said in an interview with UK-based media platform Palestine Deep Dive (PDD) during a live show which was also streamed on The Palestine Chronicle Facebook page. 

Hassan, who works as a legal researcher at the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), elaborated on the dire situation in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where several Palestinian families, including the Salem family, face imminent forced ethnic displacement.

The discussion, hosted by Mark Seddon, a former journalist with Al Jazeera television and UN correspondent, focused on what is happening on the ground in Sheikh Jarrah. 

Hassan explained how Israel uses its internal law to unlawfully displace Palestinian families. 


“The absentee property law, which was enacted by Israel in 1951, prohibits internally displaced Palestinian and Palestinian refugees who were uprooted from their land of ever trying to claim back their land,” Hassan said.

“So, a refugee family that was displaced in Jaffa in 1948, can’t come and say, ‘We have a land. We have documents. We have proof that we own this house in Jaffa. Let us go back to our house’,” she added.

Commenting on an Israeli court decision on February 22 to freeze the eviction of the Salem family, Hassan said that “freezing the eviction doesn’t mean canceling it, it only means that they have more time to think about an appropriate option when the time is more right to do it.”

Hassan asserted that Israel’s behavior in East Jerusalem is motivated by demographic objectives, which are part of a much larger Judaization scheme in the occupied Palestinian city.

“Right now Palestinians constitute 38% of the population in Jerusalem. So the objective was to reduce that percentage to less than 30% through the use of several methods, including forcible eviction, forcible displacement, demolitions, refusal to grant building permits,” she said.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

‘Israeli’ Occupation Puts Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood under Near-complete Lockdown

February 18, 2022 

By Staff, Agencies

The ‘Israeli’ occupation forces have placed the flashpoint neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in the occupied East al-Quds under a near-complete lockdown.

The forces took the measure on Thursday, shortly after they fiercely attacked dozens of Palestinians and activists there, the official Palestinian Wafa news agency reported.

According to Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen news network, the ‘Israeli’ forces assaulted a sit-in that was being held by Palestinians there in protest against the regime’s plans to expel 13 Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah.

The Zionist occupation forces have threatened the protesters with “severe treatment” in order to break up the sit-in, and have also been preventing medics from entering the neighborhood in order to treat injured Palestinians.

Tensions have flared across the Palestinian territories since Sunday, when ‘Israeli’ occupation forces and illegal Zionist settlers renewed their attacks against Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah.

The Gaza Strip-based Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas has called on Palestinian people across the entire occupied territories, especially the holy occupied city of al-Quds, to “mobilize” in support of their fellow countrymen in the face of the “savage occupiers” and “cowardly settlers.”

Palestinians are reportedly planning to flock to the neighborhood to hold Friday prayers in solidarity with its oppressed citizens.

Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative political party, Mustafa al-Barghouti, hailed Sheikh Jarrah’s protests as wholehearted popular resistance.

“The Sheikh Jarrah protesters as well as the entire Palestinians’ goal is to destroy the apartheid ‘Israeli’ regime,” he said, calling backing down in the face of the occupiers a “glaring mistake.”

Fanning the flames of the Zionist aggression, Itamar Ben Gvir, a far-right ‘Israeli’ lawmaker, opened an “office” in the restive neighborhood less than a week ago.

“Following the move, dozens of settlers raided the neighborhood just after midnight, pelting stones at Palestinian homes and damaging cars,” Wafa noted.

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