تصريحات نخالة والسنوار… النّفس بالنّفس ولن نموت وحدَنا

رامز مصطفى

التصريحات الصحافية التي أطلقها مؤخراً وزير جيش الاحتلال «نيفتالي بينت»، والتي ربط فيها السماح بإدخال أية مساعدات لقطاع غزة، تتعلق بمكافحة فيروس كورونا، بمدى التقدّم الذي تحرزه في محاولة استعادة الجنديين الأسيرين لدى فصائل المقاومة في غزة، عندما قال: «عندما يكون هناك نقاش حول المجال الإنساني في غزة فإنّ «إسرائيل» لها أيضاً احتياجات إنسانية تتمثل أساساً في استعادة مَن سقطوا في الحرب».

هذه التصريحات غير الأخلاقية أو الإنسانية، استدعت على الفور رداً حازماً جازماً، أولاً من قبل الأخ يحيى السنوار رئيس حركة حماس في قطاع غزة، واضعاً في معرض ردّه الخيار العسكري، عندما أكد على أنّ «المقاومة قادرة على إرغام الاحتلال على إدخال أدوات مواجهة فيروس كورونا، وسنأخذ ما نريده عنوة». مضيفاً: «في الوقت الذي نكون فيه مضطرين إلى أجهزة تنفس لمرضانا أو طعام لشعبنا، فإننا مستعدّون وقادرون على إرغام الاحتلال على ذلك. وإذا وجدنا أنّ مصابي فيروس كورونا في غزة لا يقدرون على التنفس سنقطع النفس عن 6 ملايين مستوطن».

الردّ لم يخلُ في المقابل من طرح مبادرة إنسانية في ظلّ تفشي فيروس «كورونا»، تتعلق بتقديم ما أسماه بـ «التنازل الجزئي» في موضوع الجنود الأسرى لدى المقاومة، مقابل الإفراج عن أسرانا الأبطال من كبار السنّ والمرضى في سجون العدو. وختم السنوار تصريحه، متوجهاً إلى أسرانا: «أقول لأسرانا إننا لن ننساهم، وإنْ شاء الله يكون لهم فرج قريب».

وأعقب تصريح الأخ السنوار، تصريح ثان للأخ زياد نخالة الأمين العام لحركة الجهاد الإسلامي، قال فيه: «تحديات جديدة تنشأ ولن تنتظر أحداً، لذلك علينا جميعا ألاّ نترك شعبنا الفلسطيني لمزيد من الجوع، ولمزيد من الإذلال، وخاصة في قطاع غزة المحاصر منذ سنوات طويلة». مضيفاً: «أنّ الموت يطرق أبواب الجميع بقوة وبلا رحمة، فإننا نقول لن نموت وحدنا، وعلى قيادات العدو الصهيوني أن تدرك، أنّ استمرار الحصار والاستمرار بتسويق الوهم على أنّ «إسرائيل» محصّنة لن يجدي نفعاً». وموضحاً: «أنّ المقاومة تملك المبادرة، وفي أيّ لحظة للدفاع عن الشعب الفلسطيني والقتال من أجل حياة كريمة لشعبنا ومن أجل أسرانا». ومؤكداً: «أنّ أيّ تهديد لحياة الشعب الفلسطيني عبر استمرار الحصار سيشمل الجميع من دون استثناء. وعلى العدو أن يختار بين الملاجئ وما يترتب عليها، أو إنهاء الحصار والاستجابة لإطلاق سراح أسرانا».

التصريحات المزدوجة للأخوين أبو طارق نخالة وأبو إبراهيم السنوار، رسالة بالغة الأهمية، في توقيتٍ بالغ الخطورة، بسبب الانفلات السريع لفيروس «كورونا»، الذي يجتاح العالم من دون رحمة، وشعبنا وأهلنا الذين يعيشون في ظروف بالغة الحراجة والقسوة، بسبب حصار جيش الاحتلال المفروض على قطاع غزة، والأسرى القابعون في السجون والمعتقلات، الذين يتعرّضون لأبشع الممارسات والإجراءات التعسفية الإجرامية من قبل إدارة سجون كيان الاحتلال، في أمسّ الحاجة في هذه الظروف إلى رفع الظلم عنهم. وأيضاً هذه مسؤولية المجتمع الدولي الذي دعته مؤسّسة الضمير في بيان لها إلى الضغط على الكيان، من أجل إجباره على الالتزام بواجباته، والسماح بإدخال كافة الاحتياجات الطبية إلى قطاع غزة، وخاصة الأجهزة والمعدات الطبية اللازمة للفحص الطبي لفيروس «كورونا». كما طالبت المجتمع الدولي والمنظمات الإنسانية، بتوفير المستلزمات الطبية التي يحتاجها القطاع الصحي في غزة، للمساعدة في مواجهة انتشار الفيروس.

على قادة الكيان أن يدركوا جيداً ما حملته تلك التصريحات من الجدية في الذهاب إلى الخيار العسكري، إذا استمرّ جيش الاحتلال وقادته وحكومته في التعنّت في تنفيذ سياساتهم الهادفة إلى النيل من إرادة وعزيمة وإصرار شعبنا في استمراره على الصمود، بالرغم من كلّ التحديات وجسامتها.

Pompeo Warns ICC Against Investigating US/Israeli War Crimes

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Since established by the Rome Statute in 2002, the International Criminal Court never held the US, other Western nations, or Israel accountable for high crimes of war and against humanity.

Only their victims were prosecuted, falsely blamed for the highest of high crimes committed against them by the US, NATO, Israel, and their imperial partners.

For nearly two decades, the ICC operated solely as imperial tool — continuing the same agenda today unless it goes another way for justice never pursued before.

It’s hard taking seriously chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s announced probes into whether Israel and the US committed war crimes in Occupied Palestine and Afghanistan respectively.

The former probe was announced in December, the latter one in early March — whitewash twice over their likely outcomes if conducted.

Republicans and undemocratic Dems militantly oppose revealing anything that exposes high crimes committed by the state and those of its imperial allies, notably Israel.

Last December, Pompeo slammed the ICC, saying:

“We firmly oppose…any…action that seeks to target Israel unfairly (sic),” adding:

“We do not believe the Palestinians qualify as a sovereign state (sic), and they therefore are not qualified to obtain full membership, or participate as a state in international organizations, entities, or conferences, including the ICC (sic).”

Despite a rap sheet of nearly 75 years of high crimes of war, against humanity, and other abuses of international law, Israel was never held accountable — what’s long overdue.

The State of Palestine exists as a PLO-represented UN observer state.

More importantly, the PLO  adopted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence on November 15, 1988 — drafted by Law Professor Francis Boyle, its legal advisor at the time.

He explained that Palestinian statehood is “determinative, definitive, and irreversible,” adding:

Palestine satisfies all essential criteria for sovereign independence and full de jure UN membership. 

The Palestine National Council (PNC) as the PLO’s legislative body is empowered to proclaim the existence of Palestine. 

Bensouda said she’s “satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine,” adding:

“There is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes were committed in the context of the 2014 hostilities in Gaza” by Israeli forces, evidence indicating they engaged in disproportionate attacks, “willful killing and willfully causing serious injury to body or health…and intentionally directing an attack against objects or persons using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions.”

In response to a proposed ICC investigation of US war crimes in Afghanistan, Pompeo said the Trump regime “will not tolerate…attempts to investigate or prosecute Americans,” adding:

“I’m announcing a policy of US visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of US personnel.”

“If you’re responsible for the proposed ICC investigation of US personnel in connection with the situation in Afghanistan you should not assume that you still have, or will get, a visa or that you will permitted to enter the United States.”

“We’re prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions, if the ICC does not change its course.”

Perhaps the Trump regime will invade or terror-bomb the court and/or assassinate its prosecutors if they dare investigate and pronounce the US or Israel guilty of high crimes the world community knows both countries committed time and again.

In response to Pompeo’s March remarks, an ICC statement said the court “will continue to do its independent work, undeterred, in accordance with its mandate and the overarching principle of the rule of law” — what it never did before so the claim is dubious at best.

In response to Israeli AG Mendelblit’s objection to an ICC investigation of Netanyahu regime war crimes, falsely claiming it has no jurisdiction over Israeli actions, B’Tselem responded as follows:

Mendelblit falsely claimed that there’s no Palestinian state or occupation.

He “conveniently ignor(ed) the facts on the ground, the principles of international law, and the declared positions of the international community,” adding: 

“He glosse(d) over more than 52 years in which Israel has kept the West Bank and Gaza Strip under a cruel, violent occupation regime, transforming the area completely.” 

“Palestinian space is now fragmented into isolated units in which Palestinians live without political rights or any real control over their lives – which are run by various Israeli authorities.”

He also turned reality on its head, claiming Israel and Palestinians negotiate in good faith — what never occurred since Israel’s 1947-48 war of aggression, stealing 78% of historic Palestine.

In June 1967, it took the rest extrajudicially — thereafter seizing Palestinian-owned land dunum by dunum, the process continuing until there’s nothing left but isolated/worthless scrubland, surrounded by Israeli security forces and hostile settlers.

B’Tselem: Israeli regime officials admitted that they do not “view the occupation as temporary and intend to cement control over the Palestinians while dispossessing them of land and rights” — what’s been ongoing since 1947.

Palestinians joined the ICC in 2015. They’re entitled to petition the court to investigate Israeli high crimes too egregious to ignore.

B’Tselem: Throughout Jewish state history, its regimes “enjoyed total immunity regarding its actions in the Occupied Territories.” 

“Domestically, not a single person has paid a significant price for these actions thanks to the almost blanket criminal and civil immunity Israel accords itself.” 

“Internationally, (virtually nothing) has been done to compel Israel to change its policies,” nothing to hold its war criminals accountable for Nuremberg-level high crimes. 

“Instead, (the Jewish state) enjoys generous financial benefits and international legitimacy. Israel is now railing against the prospect of actually being held accountable for some of its crimes.”

B’Tselem’s executive director Hagai El-Ad said the following:

“Israel’s attempt to clutch at formalistic straws to evade the ICC’s jurisdiction is shameful.” 

“Since Palestine joined the Rome Statute, it has the right to demand an investigation into the situation there.” 

“Palestine…is under Israeli occupation, whose crimes the ICC has the jurisdiction – and responsibility – to investigate.” 

“We hope the Court will make the right decision, sustain the (chief) prosecutor’s position, and decide: indeed it has jurisdiction – and there will be an investigation.”

If Bensouda is serious about investigating and holding Israel and the US accountable for their high crimes of war and against humanity, she should pursue her mandate in both cases expeditiously without restraint.

It never happened before and most likely won’t seek accountability and justice ahead  against the US and Israel — no matter how grievous their indisputable high crimes.

The Coronavirus Outbreak is Revealing the Appalling Conditions Faced by Palestinians in Israeli Prisons

By Delilah Boxstein

Source

Ramallah, West Bank — Palestinian political prisoner Muwaffaq Arouq, 77, is now in critical condition. He has lost weight, has a fever and can only eat through a feeding tube inserted into his abdomen, according to the Committee of Prisoners and Former Prisoners’ Affairs. Doctors discovered Arouq had cancer in July, but the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) delayed his treatment until November — worsening his condition. And yet, amid the rapid spread of the coronavirus, Israel continues its policy of medical neglect against Palestinian prisoners.

As activists demand for the release of Arouq and other sick prisoners, Qaddoura Fares, president of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, says the coronavirus pandemic has increased concerns for prisoners whose health is deteriorating.

‘Punishing Palestinian prisoners’ with new procedures

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh called on the Israeli government to release all prisoners, especially children and those suffering from diseases last week but Fares doesn’t have hope that drastic measures like this will be taken.

“We are calling on the Israeli government to clean the rooms and the spaces prisoners are moving in to be sure that they will not be attacked by this virus,” Fares said. “But the prisoners tell me that the Israeli administration did nothing.” Fares mentioned that the IPS is “acting as usual” except for adding new procedures like denying family visits to prisoners.

Palestinian prisoner rights organization, Addameer, detailed Israel’s so-called preventive procedures in a new report. In addition to canceling family visits, Israeli authorities suspended lawyers’ visits and changed instructions regarding civil court procedures. Trials for security prisoners at Israeli civil courts will now be held without the detainee present. These sessions will be attended by the prisoner’s lawyer and detainees will be permitted to be in contact through visual or audio means from prison.

Charlotte Kates, international coordinator for Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, said it is already incredibly difficult for families to receive reliable information about their loved ones in jail, even when there’s not a health crisis happening.

“There’s been this constant push to prevent family visits so it doesn’t seem like a real attempt to protect people from the disease and comes across instead as another way of punishing Palestinian prisoners,” Kates said.

According to news reports, 19 Palestinian prisoners and 15 Israeli officers were held in quarantine at Asqalan Prison after an Israeli doctor interacted with a Palestinian prisoner seeking treatment. The physician tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus five days before meeting with the prisoner. And in Al-Maskobiya prison in Jerusalem, 100 prisoners were isolated after an officer was suspected of having the virus. Both quarantines have officially ended. However, the IPS is preparing to house prisoners diagnosed with the deadly virus at Sahranem Prison in the Negev desert along the Egyptian border.

A systematic policy of medical neglect

More than 5,000 Palestinians — including women and children ­— are currently held in Israeli prisons with 700 suffering from poor health and nearly 300 in critical condition, according to 2019 statistics from Palestinian non-governmental organization The Center for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights “Hurryyat.” Four prisoners are suffering from dangerous cancers, 10 have tumors, 68 have been shot or injured, 11 are paralyzed and 17 suffer from mental illnesses. Palestinian prisoners also suffer from heart disease, kidney failures, blood pressure problems and diabetes. In 2019, five Palestinian prisoners died in Israeli jails, with three dying as a direct result of medical negligence.

Eighteen prisoners are now permanently hospitalized at the infamous Ramleh Prison Hospital. This facility is where prisoners with the most debilitating health problems go for treatment. Sick inmates may wait for days at the hospital to see a doctor, but the trip there can be equally as long. Fares details how ailing prisoners traveled three days in a metal van tied to metal chairs with feet and hands cuffed. They don’t have access to food or a toilet as they spend hours picking up other sick prisoners. Most sick inmates won’t even go to Ramleh because they know how excruciating the journey can be. “A lot of prisoners refuse to get out [of the jail] because they understand what is waiting for them,” Fares said.

Lana Ramadan, International Advocacy Officer for Addameer, said that prisoners dying from medical negligence ranges from two to four every year on average. “Usually these things happen, the prisoner would be in a really harsh situation, he may or may not get treatment, maybe he dies, people would speak about it and then things would calm down until it happens again,” Ramadan said. “So it keeps on happening. It is systematic. It’s a policy the IPS has. They don’t give medical treatment to prisoners.”

Israel’s prison conditions worsening inmates’ health

As described in Addameer’s report, prisons are overcrowded, with small cells lacking proper ventilation. Resources like medications, adequate nutrition and water are scarce. Prisons lack sterilizers and cleaning materials, although Addameer noted that some prisoners were given cleaning equipment recently.

“These people who are suffering from severe health conditions are spending their days in conditions that are not sanitary, not cared for properly and they are not receiving the reliable health care treatment that they need,” Kates said. She pointed out that often more than six to ten inmates are stuffed together in tiny, dirty cells crawling with insects and vermin. Prisoners have to purchase hygiene products from the canteen but may be banned from purchasing items if they participate in protests like hunger strikes. In these instances, prisoners may share these hygiene products with each other — only further reducing cleanliness and sanitation.

“There’s no system here that’s making sure these folks’ health is being protected,” Kates said. “Instead they’re being subjected to even more dangers to their health beyond the threat of COVID-19.”

As the prison conditions exacerbate inmates’ health, medical staff is not trained to handle the severe illnesses prisoners experience. Doctors in Israeli jails are not specialized. In most cases, they just prescribe water and painkillers. This was the exact outcome for Palestinian prisoner Sami Abu Diak, who, in 2015, was merely given painkillers instead of a proper diagnosis. Without a legitimate diagnosis, Abu Diak suffered for weeks and his condition worsened before he finally began treatment for cancer. Abu Diak lost his battle to cancer in November inside Ramleh prison clinic.

For Helmi Al-Araj, Executive Director of Hurryyat and a former prisoner, the poor medical treatment isn’t just because these physicians are unqualified. “These doctors deal with ailing prisoners with irresponsibility and no respect to prisoners because they deal with their enemies,” Al-Araj said. “They don’t take this as a humanitarian case. They deal with prisoners as enemies who are terrorists and did something against their government.”

Fares, who spent 14 years in prison for armed activism, agreed Palestinians are seen as “the other.” “Israel is developing a mentality that there is a difference between the soldier and the prisoner,” Fares said. “In their mind, they think we are not human enough.”

Yet while Fares does believe medical negligence stems from the growing far-right ideology of the Israeli government, he thinks reform is possible if Palestine presents a united front. “Today Hamas is acting alone. Fatah is acting alone. And the Israeli administration knows how deep the Palestinian crisis goes, so they use it.”

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (05 – 11 March 2020)

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (05 – 11 March 2020)

Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory

05 – 11 March 2020

  • Palestinian child killed and 14 civilians injured, including a journalist in excessive use of force by Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians at al-‘Arma Mountain in Nablus
  • 6 Palestinians wounded by IOF in Qalqilyah, occupied East Jerusalem and Ramallah
  • 9 shootings reported against agricultural lands and three at Palestinian fishing boats in eastern and western Gaza Strip
  • During 80 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem: 91 civilians arrested, including 4 children.
  • 400 olive tree seedlings and a residential tent uprooted in Bethlehem and Ramallah, and two construction vehicles confiscated in Hebron
  • “Sovereignty Road” project ratified in eastern occupied Jerusalem, intended to isolate Palestinian neighbourhoods from Jerusalem.
  • Collective punishment policy: IOF demolishes two houses of prisoners’ families
  • Settlers attacked Palestinian civilians, civilian houses and vehicles and cut trees in the West Bank
  • IOF established 36 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, where a Palestinian civilian was arrested

Summary

This week, PCHR documented 159 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory.  As part of its excessive use of lethal force, IOF killed a Palestinian child in Nablus and wounded others. Moreover, IOF continued to use excessive force against the peaceful protests organized against Trump’s Peace Plan for the Middle East known as the “Deal of Century” that violates the rights of the Palestinian people and is in conflict with the United Nation (UN) resolutions and international law.  Meanwhile, settlers backed up by IOF continued to seize more civilian property and attack civilians and their property. It should be mentioned that the state of emergency declared by the Palestinian National Authority in face of the spread of Coronavirus in Bethlehem, and declaring the latter a closed area, had its implications on PCHR’s efforts to document human rights violations in the oPt.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: in excessive use of force against protests in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF killed a Palestinian child and wounded 20 civilians, including a journalist, the child was killed and 14 were wounded during IOF’s suppression of protesters on al-‘Urmah Mountain in Nablus, including 2 deemed in critical condition. The rest of the casualties (6) were wounded in IOF attacks in Qalqilyah, occupied East Jerusalem and Ramallah.

In the Gaza Strip, 9 shootings by IOF were reported against the agricultural lands in the southern and central Gaza Strip while 1 shooting was reported against Palestinian fishing boats off the northern Gaza Strip shore.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 80 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, 91 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 children.  Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted a limited incursion in eastern Buraij refugee camp, central Gaza Strip.

Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: PCHR documented 5 IOF operations, including demolitions, land razing, and demolition notices: excavation operations at Palestinians’ lands in occupied East Jerusalem, two construction vehicles confiscated in Hebron, 400 olive trees uprooted in Bethlehem, a barracks used for cattle dismantled and a residential tent demolished in Ramallah. Furthermore, “Sovereignty Road” project was ratified in area E1 eastern occupied East Jerusalem, which intends to isolate Palestinian neighbourhoods from Jerusalem, to apply Israeli sovereignty.

PCHR also documented 8 settler-attacks: cars and houses attacked in Nablus; dozens of grape vines cut in al-Khader village, southern Bethlehem, and assault on a civilian and houses in Hebron during Purim Jewish holiday.

Collective punishment policy

IOF demolished two Palestinian prisoners’ houses in Ramallah: Yazan Mghames in Beirzeit northern Ramallah; and Walid Hanatsheh, in al-Teereh neighbourhood western Ramallah.

Israeli closure policy and Restrictions on Movement: on Friday, 06 March 2020, IOF declared a complete security lockdown on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for Purim.

IOF announced the lockdown from mighnight Sunday, 08 March 2020, until Thursday, 12 March 2020. The decision applied to Kerm Shalom crossing, the Gaza Strip’s sole commercial crossing with Israel for 24 hours, Monday – Tuesday.

As such, IOF did not allow exit or entry into Israel, except for humanitarian cases and medical emergencies, after acquiring the approval of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

On Wednesday, 11 March 2020, IOF declared increased restrictions on Beit Hanoun Crossing and all West Bank checkpoint under the pretext of responding to the spread of Coronavirus.

 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. This week, IOF arrested 1 Palestinian at a temporary military checkpoints.

  1. Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity
  2. Excessive Use of Force against Protests in the West Bank

IOF suppressed peaceful protests that took part in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, condemning the U.S President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace Plan known as “Deal of the Century” that was declared on 28 January 2020. In most of the protests, Palestinians gathered near seam zones and chanted national slogans as some of them threw stones at IOF. IOF responded with live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, 2 civilians sustained live bullets wounds and dozens suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. IOF also arrested 5 civilians, including 2 children. The protests were as follows:

  • A protest near the annexation wall gate, east of al-‘Erqah village, west of Jenin. IOF suppressed the protestors and arrested 4 civilians, including 2 children: Yazan Rasem Yahiya (19), Mousa (17), Basel Nezar Waked (25), and Mohammed Issam Waked (16). Many civilians also suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • A protest at the northern crossing established on Qalqiliyah city lands. IOF chased Palestinian young men, who gathered in the area. Clashes erupted in the area in which IOF fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, a 30-year-old civilian was shot with a rubber bullet in his face and a 47-year-old civilian was shot with a rubber bullet in the right hand.
  1. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
  • At approximately 08:30 on Friday, 06 March 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at agricultural lands, east of al-Qararah village. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:00 on the same Friday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village; No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:00 on the same Friday, IOF moved into al-Wad Street in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched houses of Mohammed Murad Najib (20) and Hesham Mohammed al-Bashiti (19) and arrested them. In the meantime, a number of young men protested on al-Wad Street, adjacent to Bab al-Majles, one of al-Aqsa Mosque gates, and threw stones and fired live bullets at IOF soldiers. The soldiers fired sound bombs and rubber bullets at the protestors.
  • At approximately 14:30 on Saturday, 07 March 2020, IOF soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Maghazi in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At the same time, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at agricultural lands, east of al-Qararah village, east of Khan Younis, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 16:00 on the same Saturday, IOF moved into al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. The soldiers deployed the city neighborhoods, established checkpoints at its entrances, prevented civilians from entering or exiting the village, and searched civilian’s vehicles before allowing them to enter the village. In the meantime, a number of Palestinian young men protested at the entrance to Obeid neighborhood, north of the village and threw stones, fireworks and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers. An Israeli force moved into the neighborhood and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. Clashes erupted in the area and continued for 3 hours. As a result, 2 civilians were hit with sound bombs shrapnel and they were taken to a medical center in the village to receive medical treatment. IOF arrested Moneer Mo’ammer Obeid (18) and Yazan Bassam Rushud Obeid (23).
  • At approximately 08:00 on Sunday, 08 March 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at agricultural lands in eastern al-Fukhari village, east of Khan Younis. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:30 on the same Sunday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at agricultural lands, east of al-Qararah village, east of Khan Younis. The shooting recurred at 21:00 on the same day. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:15 on the same Sunday, IOF moved into Qabatiyah village, southeast of Jenin. In the meantime, a number of children and youngsters gathered and threw stones at IOF’s vehicles. IOF responded with tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 15:30 on the same Sunday, IOF moved into Burin village, southeast of Nablus, and stationed in al-Baten area, east of Burin village. A number of Palestinian children gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. IOF fired tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and they received medical treatment on the field.
  • At approximately 21:30 on the same Sunday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and flare bombs in the sky of the area. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 06:00 on Monday, 09 March 2020, IOF gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles. Fishermen were forced to flee from the area fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:30 on the same Monday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at Palestinian shepherds, adjacent to the border fence. The shooting continued sporadically until the evening hours. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 10 March 2020, IOF soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of Abasan al-Kabirah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 19:00 on the same Tuesday, an Israeli infantry unit moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, claiming that Israeli soldiers stationed at the entrance to the camp they were stoned. When the soldiers arrived at the area where UNRWA storehouses are, a number of young men gathered and threw stones at Israeli soldiers. The soldiers chased the stone-throwers between houses and indiscriminately fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.  IOF withdrew from the  Neither arrests nor house raids were reported.
  • Simultaneously, IOF moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus and stationed in al-Berkah area, west of the village. In the meantime, a number of civilians gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles, and the latter fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and they received medical treatment on the field. IOF chased the protestors and dispersed them. IOF also arrested 2 civilians namely: Hazem Omer Hendi (25) and Bara’a Abdul Fattah Eshtiyah (23).
  • At approximately 02:00 on Wednesday, 11 March 2020, an Israeli military force moved into Deir Netham village, northwest of Ramallah. In the meantime, a number of Palestinian young men gathered at the village’s main entrance and threw stones at Israeli soldiers, while the latter heavily responded with rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and they received medical treatment. IOF also arrested Ramez Mohammed Yahiyah al-Tamimi (15) and Osamah Mohammed Yahiyah al-Tamimi (17) and took them to an unknown destination.
  • In a new crime of excessive use of force, on Wednesday, 11 March 2020, IOF killed a Palestinian child and wounded 14 others, including a journalist, when they suppressed a protest in al-‘Armah Mount, southeast of Beta village in Nablus, north of the West Bank. 2 civilians’ injuries were deemed critical condition.
  • According to PCHR investigations, approximately at 05:00 on Wednesday, Israeli forces backed by at least 40 military vehicles and 2 construction vehicles moved into al-‘Arma Mountain, and proceeded to suppress a civilian gathering (dozens) who had an overnight sit-in starting at 20:00 on Tuesday, 10 March 2020, as IOF provided protection for settlers. IOF fired live and rubber bullets, as well as tear gas canisters at the civilian gathering in order to disperse them. Clashed erupted until 07:00 Wednesday morning. As a result, IOF aggression resulted in the injury of 14 civilians. Mohammed Abdulkarim Khassab Hamayel (15) was shot with a live bullet in the head and deemed critical, until his death was announced at 12:00 today at the Intensive Care Unit at Rafidia Hospital in Nablus. Among those wounded was journalist Baker Mohammed Abdulhaq (30) who was shot with a rubber bullet in his left leg while covering the incident for Palestine TV; two others were deemed in an extremely critical conditions, while dozens suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and were attended to in the field.

According to eyewitnesses’ statement to PCHR fieldworker, IOF did not allow paramedics to evacuate the wounded, including Hamayel (15) and left them to bleed on the ground for more than half an hour before ambulance were allowed to enter after the area was forcibly evacuated from all civilians. All of the above occurred despite the fact that the civilian gathering did not pose any danger to the lives of Israeli soldiers.

This is the 3rd IOF raid into al-‘Arma Mountain in the past 2 weeks against civilian gatherings intended to obstruct settlers’ overtake of the area, where 146 Palestinians sustained wounds.

Al-‘Arma Mountain is one of the highest points of altitude in Nablus governorate (843m above the sea level), and it has an historic site (60 dunums) and it is part of Bita village, southeast of Nablus. Israeli settlers intend to control it and annex it to settlements “Givat Arnon” and “Etmar” under religious pretexts.

  1. Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 05 March 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Barqin village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched Mohammed Omran Sabbah’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into al-Samoa’ village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Oday Mohammed Mahmoud Rawashda’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched Sayed Ibrahim Sayed’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Fare’a refugee camp, south of Tubas. They raided and searched Omar Fathi al-Shafe’i’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • In the same context, IOF moved into Burin village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Ahmed Ali Eid’s (27) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Kharas, west of Hebron. They raided and searched four houses and arrested (4) civilians: Romel Kamel Atwan (42), Shaher Aziz Halahela (42), Younis Owda al-Haroub (39), and Isma’el Ahmed al-Haroub (29). It should be noted that Romel was arrested in Nafha Prison and released on 13 February 2020 after serving a sentence of 18-years, and Shaher was released on 19 March 2019, after serving 17-years sentence in Nafha prison.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Sourif, west of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Wa’d al-Haq Mohamed al-Hedmi (30) and Rami Mohammed Ehdoush (38).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Beit Ummer, north of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and handed (3) civilians summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services (Shen Bet) in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem. The (3) civilians are: Saqer Ahmed Sabarna (36), Waheeb Nimir ‘Alqam (35), and Mazen Hussain al-Tit (33).
  • At approximately 21:40, IOF moved into Qalqiliya. They aided and searched Adel Suliman Abu Duhail’s (32) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Sabastya, Qaryout in Nablus, Tafouah, and Hebron in Hebron Governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 06 March 2020:

  • At approximately 14:30, IOF moved into Batn al-Hawa in Solwan, soth of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Monthir Hamza al-Rajabi’s (21) house and took him to Salah al-Deen police station. IOF released him after several hours without conditions.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Birzeit, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a university student’s apartment and arrested (7) civilians from Tulkarm; Mohammed Mahmoud Thawabta (21), Yazeed Kamal Abdul Dayem (21), Mohammed Hasan Jaber (21), Aseed Abdul Fattah Sa’eed (22), Ahmed Farah (19), Mohammed Naser (22), and Rayyan Kharyoush (20).
  • At approximately 03:20, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Barakat Raed Nakhla’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into Bab Hatta neighborhood, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Foad Jamal al-Shawish’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in al-Shoyoukh, Beit al-Roush, and al-Thahereya in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 07 March 2020:

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Abu Snaina (20) and Mustafa Abu Snaina (21), and took them to the police station in the city, while present in front of their house in al-Wad Street, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Hebron and Yatta in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 08 March 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Thawri neighborhood, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided Ibrahim Jameel Ghaith’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Jabal al-Mokaber neighborhood, south of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Khaled Amer Alian Owaisat’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into al-Issaweya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Loay Ashraf Mahmoud’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Sourif, Abu al-‘Asja, and Beit Amrah villages in Hebron.

Monday, 09 March 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Qalandya refugee camp and Kafr Aqab, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians: Ahmed Jom’aa Sajdeya (27), Mohammed Yaser Hammad (29), and Omar Eid (26). It should be noted that Sajdeya’s right hand was amputated in November 2014 during the clashes near Qalandya military checkpoint, north of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Yehya Jamal Sowi (32) and Eyad Mohammed Naser (40) and arrested them. Later, IOF released Eyad Naser.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched Nidal Fayez Abu al-Teen’s (52) house and arrested him and his son Baha’ (25). IOF also moved into Mohammed Jamal al-Hourani’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched four houses and arrested (4) civilians: Abdul Kareem Khaled Abu Sel (22), Amro Khaled al-Badawi (19), Majed Tayseer al-Titi (24), and Ahmed Izzat al-Sabatin (21).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Kharsa village, southwest of Hebron they raided and searched two houses belonging to Nehad Yousef Awawda and Abdul Halim Mohammed al-Talahma. No arrests were reported.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into al-Heela village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Shaher Rabea’ Dawoud’s house and no arrests were reported.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Monjed Mohammed Radwan (28) and Khaled Hussain Abed Rabboh (20), and arrested them. Lately, IOF released Khaled.
  • At approximately 03:10, IOF moved into Betein village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched Hadi Abdullah Hamed’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Solwad, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Hasan Tayseer Hammad (20) and Saleh Abdullah Seyagha (19), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF backed by five military construction vehicles, moved 200 meters west of the border fence, east of al-Buraij. A warplane was flying in the area while the construction vehicles were leveling the land and repairing the barbed wire along the border fence. At approximately 17:30, the military construction vehicles redeployed again along the border fence.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Alian neighborhood, in al-Issaweya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a restaurant in the neighborhood and arrested Mohammed Ibrahim Hamdan (26).
  • IOF carried out 3 incursions in Halhoul and Sa’eer villages, in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Ram village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Hamouda Baker Jabarin’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beita municipality, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (8) civilians and took them to an unknown destination. The arrestees are: Monawar Abdul Rahman Bani Shamsa (55), Raed Abdul Raheem Dawoud (50), Hussain Dawoud Bani Shamsa (22), his brother Ibrahim (26), Jihad Fayez Hamayel (24), his brother Fayez (22), Saif Hamayel (22), and Abdul Salam Mo’la (50), who is a university professor.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Awrta village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Abdul Salam Mohammed Awwad’s (48) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF around the same time, IOF moved into Kafr Tholth village, east of Qalqiliya. They raided and searched Ali Rafiq Mohammed Shawahna’s (40) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Auserin village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Samer Hamdi Nayef Mifleh’s (25) house and took him to an unknown destination.
  • Around the same time, IOFD moved into Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Omran Kareem Abu Sbaih’s (25) house and arrested him. After a few hours, IOF released him on condition of banning him from entering al-Aqsa Mosque for a month.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Hebron, and stationed in Korbet Zaheda area. They raided and searched Fareed Hmaidan al-‘Awiwi’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF moved into Dari neighborhood in al-Issaweya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Ma’moun Mostafa Dari’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Yatta, Hadab, and al-Fawwar refugee camp in Hebron.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (5) civilians: Mohammed Mousa Ajjawi (32), Yousef Naser Salah al-Deen (24), Mohammed Zuhair Bal’awi (27), Ahmed Asa’ad Nabhan (23), and Emad Ghassan Hab al-Reeh (21). IOF took the arrestees to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Kobar village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and handed (3) civilians summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Ofar Detention” in Betounya. The civilians are: Hamza Mohammed Qindah, Ahmed Abu Zir, and Anwar Mohammed Abu Salem.
  • At approximately the same time, IOF moved into Abu-Shekhdem village, northern Ramallah, raided and searched several civilian houses. IOF delivered 3 civilians notices to appear before the Israeli Intelligence Service at “Ofer” Prison in Bitunia village, west of the city: Hamzah Mohammed Sherif Qindah, Ahmed Abu-Zer and Anwar M. S. Abusalem.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Deer Abu Mishal village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (2) civilians including a child; Abdul Rahman al-Barghouthi (17) and Mohammed Darwish ‘Atta (19).
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into several neighborhoods in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians: Mohammed Sandouqa (20), Salah al-Razim (18), and Mohammed Hijazi (24).
  • At approximately 05:30, IOF moved into Um al-Safa village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Issam Hamad (25).
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF stopped and arrested Ehab Yousef al-Jabareen (30), from Yatta, south of Hebron, while passing through a temporary military checkpoint on the northern entrance of the city.
  • At approximately 18L30, IOF arrested (5) civilians near Salah al-Deen Police Station after severely beaten them. Anwar Obaid said to PCHR’s fieldworker that a group of Israeli soldiers tried to arrest the prisoner Yaser Obaid’s father and sister, then her son with dozen of civilians attempted to defend them. A fight occurred between them, and the IOF severely beaten and arrested (3) of them along with Mrs. Obaid and her daughter who were released after a few minutes.  The arrestees are: Mohammed Bassam Obaid (23), Mohammed Bassam Alian, and Mohammed Mobtasem Obaid (19).
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Abu Qash, Borham, Birzeit villages in Ramallah, Hebron, Tarqoumeya, Beit Ummer in Hebron. 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 15:00 on Thursday, 05 March 2020, the Israeli Nature Authority staff raided and conducted excavation works in Mohamed Dawoud al-‘Abasi (90)’s plot of land located in Wadi al-Rababh neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. ‘Abed al-Kareem Abu Sninah, Head of Wadi al-Rababah Village Council, said that the Israeli Nature Authority has targeted the area for the past 20 years to establish new settlement projects. He also pointed out that a court hearing will be held on 22 March to make a decision on the neighborhood lands, and it seems that storming the land by the Nature Authority staff was to influence the court’s decision. Abu Sninah added that as a result of storming the neighborhood lands, the residents confronted the Nature Authority staff and forced them to stop excavation works.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Sunday, 08 March 2020, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbit Berin, east of Hebron. The Israeli soldiers were deployed into the area, where they confiscated Mohamed Ahmed Abu Turki’s 2 JCB diggers while reclaiming agricultural lands. It should be noted that Kherbit Berin is located in Area C, where working is banned without getting a prior permission from the Israeli authorities.
  • On Monday, 09 March 2020, IOF uprooted hundreds of olive seedlings from Wadi Fokeen village, west of Bethlehem. Wadi Fokeen Village Council stated that 400 olive seedlings belonging to Mohamed Mahmoud al-Hroub were uprooted from Sha’b Bohour area, west of the village.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF backed by a mounted-crane truck and a vehicle carrying workers from private companies moved into Kherbet Jab’eet in al-Moghair village, northeast of Ramallah. The workers dismantled Anees Mahmoud Abu ‘Alia (43)’s 100-sqaure-meter barrack built of tin plates and used for breeding livestock. The IOF also demolished Abu ‘Alia’s residential tent that was sheltered 6 persons, including 4 children, and confiscated a generator from it, under the pretext of being a closed military zone.
  • On Monday, Israeli Defense Minister, Naftali Bennett, approved the project of the so-called “road of sovereignty” in Area ( E1),east of occupied East Jerusalem, which aims at isolating Palestinian neighborhoods from occupied East Jerusalem and  imposing  Israeli sovereignty in area E1. According to 0404 New and Media Website, the road will connect the Palestinian neighborhoods of Anata, Ezzaim, Hizma and Ar-Ram, north of the Israeli settlement Maale Adumim, to one another, ensuring that Palestinians and Israelis do not drive on the same road. Bennett said in a statement that “Sovereignty Road” will allow Palestinian vehicles to move without crossing inside the Maale Adumim settlement, near Israeli communities, and will enable the building of settlement units in area E1. The 0404 New and Media Website stated the planning procedures will now begin in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport, which will be responsible for its implementation.

“We are giving a green light to the ‘sovereignty road’ today” to connect Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim, Bennet said. “The project will improve the quality of life of the residents of the area, prevent unnecessary friction with the Palestinian population, and most importantly – enable the continuation of building in the settlements. Imposing sovereignty in deeds, not in words. We will continue that way,” he continued.

It should be noted that building “Sovereignty Road”  allows the Israeli occupation authorities to annex the area known as E1 and settle in it, in addition to separating the  northern West Bank from its south and undermining any opportunity to establish a sovereign Palestinian state.

  • Israeli Settler Violence
  • At approximately 14:45 on Saturday, 07 March 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement, which is established in the eastern side of Madama village, southeast of Nablus, attacked the outskirts of Madamarn village from the eastern side and threw stones at the Palestinians’ houses, under the IOF protection. In the meantime, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at the settlers and IOF, who fired tear gas canisters at them. As a result, my Palestinians suffocated to due tear gas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 17:15, Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement, which is established in the eastern side of Bureen village, southeast of Nablus, attacked the outskirts of Bureen village from the eastern side and threw stones at the Palestinians’ houses, under the IOF protection. In the meantime, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at the settlers and IOF, who fired tear gas canisters at them. As a result, my Palestinians suffocated to due tear gas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • On Tuesday, 10 March 2020, dozens of Israeli settlers cut grape vines in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. Hasan  Breijieh, Head of the Bethlehem office of Settlement and Wall  Resistance Commission, said that settlers cut many grape vines in Faghour area, which is surrounded by “Daniel”, “Eliezer” and “Efrat” These grape vines belong to ‘Abed al-Salam Ahemed al-Seer. Breijieh also said that the settlers take the opportunity after declaring a state of emergency in the oPt in order to seize Palestinian lands and damage the crops.

It should be noted that during the past 2 weeks, the Israeli settlers uprooted at least 800 trees in al-Khader village and 400 seedlings in Wadi Kofeen.

  • At approximately 00:30 on Wednesday, 11 March 2020, while Palestinian vehicles travelling on Hawarah main street, south east of Nablus, a vehicle with Israeli registration plates stopped. Meanwhile, 3 settlers carrying sticks stepped out of the vehicle and attacked Palestinian vehicles travelling on the street. The settlers also attacked 2 Palestinian young men, who attempted to confront them, and broke their vehicle rear window. The young men fled and headed to the Israeli Police Station to file a complaint. The young men were identified as Salah Wael Lotfi Khamous (23), who sustained bruises in his back, and Wa’d Ghazi Dawoud Shehada (23), who was hit with a stick in his right shoulder. Both of them headed to Rafidia Hospital for treatment.
  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli settlers organized tours on Tal al-Ramitha neighborhoods streets in the center of Hebron to celebrate the Jewish “Purim” Holiday. During that, the settlers attacked Palestinian residents and cursed them. They also chanted slogans against Arabs, under the IOF protection.
  • Around the same time, a group of settlers attacked and cursed Palestinian residents on al-Shuhada Street while celebrating the Jewish “Purim” Holiday. The daily life of the Palestinian residents in the closed neighborhoods of Hebron has been disrupted due to the large number of settlers. The closure included the main entrance to al-Shuhaha Street.
  • At approximately 11:45, Israeli settlers, from the “Price Tag” group”, attacked the western entrance to Hawarah village, near “Yatizhar” settlement square. They threw stones at Mo’taz Sadeq Qasrawi’s house and broke it windows. They also broke the windows of 3 vehicles parked Mohamed ‘Abed al-‘Aziz Ahmed Harezlah’s in house yard, 200 meters away from Yatizhar” settlement square.
  • At approximately 18:00, Israeli settlers, from “Kiryat ‘Arba’” settlement, were performing prayers in celebration of the Jewish Purim Holiday. In the meantime, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinians houses in Wadi al-Nasara neighborhood, east of al-Ibrahimi Mosque. As a result, Mohanad Khalawi al-Ja’bari (30) sustained wounds in his head after being hit with a stone. He was taken to the Governmental Hospital in the city to receive treatment.
  • Collective Punishment Policy
  • As part of the collective punishment policy applied by the Israeli forces against Palestinian families of those accused of carrying out attacks against the Israeli forces and/or settlers, IOF demolished the prisoners  Yazan Maghamis and Waleed Hanatsha’s houses in Birzeit, north of Ramallah, and al-Tira neighborhood.

According to PCHR’s investigations, on Thursday, 05 March 2020, IOF backed by dozens of military construction vehicles  moved into Birzeit in northern Ramallah. Dozens of Israeli soldiers stepped out of military vehicles and were deployed between houses. They heavily fired sound bombs in the center of the city. In the meantime, a large number of IOF raided the prisoner Yazan Maghamis’s 150-sqaure-meter house and completely demolished it, so many Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF who responded with rubber bullets and tear gas canisters. As a result, many civilian suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and received treatment on the spot by PRCS staff.

  • At approximately 02:30, at least 200 Israeli soldiers accompanied with 20 military construction vehicles moved into al-Tira neighborhood, which is located in the western side of Ramallah. The Israeli soldiers were deployed on the neighborhood streets and at it entrances. They also turned the neighborhood into a closed military zones and prevented anyone from entering or exiting it. IOF fired rubber bullets and sound bombs at Palestinians’ vehicles and buildings. During which, IOF raided a 6-story residential building comprising of 13 apartments. They raided the prisoner Waleed Hanatsha’s 170-square-meter apartment after forcing all it the residents to get out and locking them in another apartment. IOF destroyed the apartment walls with hand hammers. Meanwhile, clashes erupted between the IOF and the neighborhood residents who threw stones and empty bottles and set fire to tiers. The IOF responded with rubber bullets and tear gas canisters. As a result, 2 civilians were shot with rubber bullets in their lower limbs and treated on the spot by PRCS staff, who classified their injuries as minor. Also, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.

It should be noted that on 10 January 2020, the Israeli authorities  handed demolition notices to the families of prisoners Yazan ‘Abdullah Maghamis, who was arrested on 11 September 2019, and Waleed Hanatsha, who was arrested on 03 October 2019,  after being accused of participation in the attack at Ein Bubin near Deir Bzai’a village, west of Ramallah on 23 August 2019, which caused the killing of Israeli female settler and injuring her father and brother.

  • Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

Gaza Strip

  • On Friday, 06 March 2020, Israeli authorities decided to impose a security cordon on the West Bank and Gaza Strip for security reasons, coinciding with the Jewish Holiday “Purim.”

Moreover, the Israeli authorities declared that the closure would be started on Sunday 08 March and ended on Thursday, 12 March. The decision included the closure of Karem Abu Salem Crossing, the only commercial crossing in the Gaza Strip, on Tuesday.

Upon this decision, the humanitarian, medical and exceptional cases would be allowed to pass through the crossing, according to the approval of the government’s coordinator in the Palestinian Territories.

  • On Wednesday, 11 March 2020, Israeli authorities declared the closure of Erez Crossing due to coronavirus.
  • The Israeli authorities stated that on Thursday 12 March 2020, humanitarian cases, prominent businessmen (BMC Card holders), workers, and West Bank Palestinians (under 50) with valid permits will be allowed to enter Israel from the West Bank crossings.
  • The Israeli authorities decided to continue the closure imposed on the Bethlehem and prevent citizens ’movement, under the pretext of confronting the spread of coronavirus, while preventing the residents of Bethlehem from entering Israel until further notice.
  • Furthermore, workers and BMC Card holders are allowed to enter Israel from Hebron crossings not from the 300 crossing (Rachel Crossing).
  • The new decision included that the ongoing closure of  Beit Hanoun (Erez )crossing, except for urgent humanitarian cases. These instructions are valid until Saturday 14 March, and appropriate decisions will be taken regarding the subsequent period, according to the Israeli decision.

West Bank

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. IOF established 36 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested one of them.

The military checkpoint were as follows:

  • Jerusalem:
  • On Monday, 09 March 2020, IO closed Qalandia military checkpoint, north of occupied East Jerusalem, and al-Zaytoun military checkpoint, east of the city, in front of vehicles movement. The checkpoints were later opened.
  • On Tuesday, 10 March 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Bir Nibalah village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem.
  • Bethlehem:
  • On Thursday, 05 March 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints near the intersection of al-Nashnash area, south of Bethlehem, and at the western entrance to Hosan villages.
  • On Friday, 06 March 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints near the intersection of al-Nashnash area, near ‘Aqbet Hasna area, and at the northern entrance to Taqou’a village.
  • Hebron:
  • On Thursday, 05 March 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Halhoul village and at the entrance to Ethna village.
  • On Friday, 06 March 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Shayyoukh and Beit Kahel villages.
  • On Saturday, 07 March 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Ethna village and on Wad al-Shajinah Road.
  • On Sunday, 08 March 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoint the northern and southern entrances to Hebron.
  • On Monday, 09 March 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints on Khelet al-Mai Road and at the entrance to Kharsa village.
  • On Tuesday, 10 March 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Ethna and Beit Kahel villages.
  • On Wednesday, 11 March 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp and at the northern entrance to Halhoul.

Nablus:

  • On Sunday, 08 March 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to “Homish” settlement, northwest of Nablus.

Jenin:

  • On Sunday, 08 March 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the south-eastern entrance to al-Zababda village, southeast Jenin. The stopped Palestinians vehicles and checked their IDs.

Tubas:

  • On Thursday, 05 March 2020, IOF stationed at al-Tayaseer checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Tubas tightened their arbitrary measures against civilians who cross the checkpoint and undergo thorough searches before being allowed to cross.
  • Qalqiliyah:
  • On Thursday, 05 March 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to ‘Azoun village and under the bridge of ‘Azoun village.
  • Tulkarm:
  • On Sunday, 08 March 2020, IOF established a checkpoint between Sida and ‘Alar villages, north of the city.
  • Salfit:
  • On Sunday, 08 March 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Dir Balout and Kaful Hares villages.
  • Ramallah
  • On Saturday, 07 March 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Nabi Salah village and near ‘Atara village bridge, north of Ramallah.
  • On Sunday, 08 March 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to al-Nabi Salah village. They also closed the metal detector gate established on the main street leading to al-Jalazoun refugee camp for 2 hours.
  • On Monday, 09 March 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Nabi Saleh and Dir Abu Mish’al villages, northwest of Ramallah.
  • Jericho:
  • On Thursday, 05 March 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Monday, 09 March 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.

Blockaded Gaza Looks Wryly On As World Isolates Itself

Blockaded Gaza Looks Wryly On As World Isolates Itself

By Nidal al-Mughrabi – Reuters

“Dear world, how is the lockdown? Gaza.”

A sly dig at the international community, this is just one among a torrent of social media posts that has emerged from the blockaded Gaza Strip in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The sight of a world locking itself down seems to have unleashed a wellspring of emotions in Gaza, from sardonic political commentary to schadenfreude, emerging from Palestinian denizens of the tiny coastal enclave that has for years lived with enforced isolation and confinement.

“Have you got bored with your quarantine, the closure of your crossings, your airports and your trade? We in Gaza have been living under this for 14 years,” one social media user posted this week.

“Oh world, welcome into our permanent reality,” he added.

Gaza, measuring 375 square kilometers is home to around two million Palestinians, more than half of them refugees.

Along 90% of its land and sea boundaries its access to the outside world is controlled by ‘Israel’, and by Egypt on its narrow southern border.

An ‘Israeli’-led blockade has put restrictions on the movement of people and goods for years, amid security concerns following the 2007 takeover of Gaza by Hamas, and three subsequent wars which killed thousands of Palestinians and around 100 ‘Israelis’.

The irony is not lost on Gazans that the restrictions they chafe against may also have contributed to slowing the entry of coronavirus, with no cases reported thus far in Gaza.

But prolonged closure and isolation have contributed to the crippling of Gaza’s economy, with unemployment at 52 percent and poverty levels of over 50 percent.

Standing in his empty metal factory in northern Gaza City, businessman Youssef Sharaf recalled the years when he used to be able to export electric heaters to ‘Israel’ and the West Bank.

“I had 70 people working here, today I only have one,” Sharaf told Reuters.

Although the underlying causes of his closure were man-made, he empathized with those facing shutdown because of disease.

“It is tough,” he said. “May God be with them.”

But in Gaza’s small but resilient high-tech sector, the obstacles that stop travel abroad also forced the early adoption of teleconferencing and other practices that world is now catching up with.

At Gaza Sky Geeks, an incubator for young entrepreneurs, computer programmers and web developers work remotely with international firms. “Because of the years-long blockade on us, Gaza people better understand the current situation in world countries,” said Angham Abu Abed, 24, a computer engineer who works with a software company in Britain.

“We hope the blockade on us will end, and we hope the virus will disappear from the world.”

UNRWA to Turn Schools into Clinics as Precautionary Measure against Coronavirus in Gaza

March 17, 2020

Using humble means, a refugee worker sterilizes the streets in Al-Shati refugee camp. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza has decided to separate patients with respiratory diseases from other patients as part of its efforts to fight the coronavirus, Quds Net News reported yesterday.

In order to carry out this measure, UNRWA converted a number of its schools into clinics and has started to install the necessary equipment, in a precautionary procedure to guarantee the safety of Palestinian refugees in Gaza

Meanwhile, the international organization stressed that it would not receive any of the patients of respiratory diseases in any clinics where other patients are being treated.

UNRWA said the schools would be sterilized before the resumption of classes.


Meanwhile, the international organization stressed that it would not receive any of the patients of respiratory diseases in any clinics where other patients are being treated.
UNRWA said the schools would be sterilized before the resumption of classes.

“The truth is, no amount of ‘preparedness’ in Gaza – or, frankly, anywhere in occupied Palestine – can stop the spread of the Coronavirus,” wrote Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud in a recent article.

“The truth is, no amount of ‘preparedness’ in Gaza – or, frankly, anywhere in occupied Palestine – can stop the spread of the Coronavirus,” wrote Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud in a recent article.

“What is needed is a fundamental and structural change that would emancipate the Palestinian healthcare system from the horrific impact of the Israeli occupation and the Israeli government’s policies of perpetual siege and politically-imposed ‘quarantines’ – also known as apartheid,” Baroud added.

(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)

ظاهرة غير مسبوقة: اللبنانيّون موحّدون أمام كورونا و… صندوق النقد الدوليّ!

د. عصام نعمان

تحدّيات كثيرة تواجه اللبنانيين، يتفرّقون حيالها وقلّما يتّحدون. أكبر التحديات ماليّ اقتصاديّ. فقد اضطرت الحكومة أخيراً إلى اتخاذ قرارٍ بتعليق تسديد دين استحقّ في 9 آذار/ مارس الحالي، يُعرف باسم «سندات يوروبوندز»، مقداره 1,200 مليار دولار أميركي.

اختلف أهل القرار، بادئ الأمر، حول مسألة تسديد الدين أو عدم تسديده. ثم توافقوا، بصعوبة، على تسوية عملية وناقصة في آن: تعليق التسديد وليس رفضه، لكن من دون الاتفاق مسبقاً على خطة تبيّن كيفية تأجيل التسديد، وتواريخ الوفاء بالأقساط، والتدابير الواجب اتخاذها لمعالجة الأسباب السياسية والاقتصادية التي أدّت إلى نشوء الأزمة.

ثم اختلف أهل القرار، وكذلك القوى السياسية المتصارعة والمتنافسة، على الإصلاحات المالية والاقتصادية الواجب اعتمادها لتمكين الحكومة من الحصول على المساعدات التقنيّة والمالية اللازمة من المؤسسات الدولية بغية تسديد مجمل الدين العام البالغ، باعتراف رئيس الحكومة حسان دياب، أكثر من 90 مليار دولار أميركي.

حتى عندما توافق أهل القرار على بعض الإصلاحات المتوجّبة، فقد اختلفوا على مسألة الاستعانة بصندوق النقد الدولي لمساعدة الدولة على الخروج من الأزمة الاقتصادية المستفحلة التي تعانيها. ذلك أنّ أركان نظام المحاصصة الطائفية وأصحاب المصارف رحّبوا، بل دعوا، الى التعاون مع الصندوق المذكور في حين أنّ معارضي النظام وشبكته الحاكمة منذ أكثر من ثلاثين عاماً رفضوا التعاون معه مذكّرين الجميع بالتجارب السيئة التي عانتها الدول التي ارتضت برامجه المرتكزة غالباً على تقليص القطاع العام وخصخصة مؤسّساته وفرض ضرائب تمسّ الطبقات الشعبية وذوي الدخل المحدود.

تفاقم الخلاف بين أهل القرار والقوى السياسية المتصارعة بشأن الموقف من صندوق النقد الدولي الى ان اندلعت جائحة كورونا وأخذ اللبنانيون يعانون من تداعياتها المؤلمة. عندها بدأ التفكير في سبل مواجهة هذا التحدّي الكاسر يأخذ مناحي أكثر موضوعية وروية وإيثاراً لتغليب المصالح الوطنية العليا على سائر المصالح والمنافع الجزئية والخاصة.

لعلّ المنعطف الأهمّ في تغيّر مقاربة أهل القرار في السلطة وخارجها لسبل مواجهة التحدّيين، الاقتصادي والصحي، تجلّى في حديث المصارحة الذي أدلى به أمين عام حزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله مساء يوم الجمعة الماضي. فحزب الله كان متهماً من قبل معارضيه، ولا سيما أصحاب المصارف، بأنه معادٍ لمبدأ التعاون مع صندوق النقد الدولي لاعتبارات سياسية، وأن من شأن هذا العداء عرقلة إجراء الإصلاحات المطلوبة وإضعاف مساعي الدولة للحصول على مساعدات خارجية.

السيد نصرالله فاجأ الجميع، مناصرين ومعارضين، بإعلانه أنه وحزبه لا يمانعان في أيّ انفتاح تقوم به الحكومة على كل المؤسسات الدولية من ضمن خطةٍ للنهوض الاقتصادي على أن تُراعي أحكام الدستور وضوابط السيادة، بل لا مانع أصلاً من القبول بتدابير تشترطها هذه المؤسسات الدولية لتقديم الدعم اللازم للبنان على أن لا تتعارض مع المصلحة الوطنية، خصوصاً لجهة تأكيد رفض أيّ ضرائب على الفقراء وذوي الدخل المحدود، كما رفض مقايضة الدعم المالي بشروط تنتهك السيادة (كتوطين اللاجئين والنازحين)، معلناً انّ الوصاية بالمطلق على لبنان مرفوضة، وانّ التعاون من ضمن شروط تحفظ سيادة الدولة وتحمي الطبقات الضعيفة ولا تمسّ باستقرار البلد، سيكون موضع ترحيب، لا سيّما عندما يقترن بالشفافية وضبط الهدر ومكافحة الفساد وإعادة هيكلة القطاع العام بغية تحقيق المزيد من الإنتاجية.

قبل القيام بمقاربته الإيجابية والمفاجئة لأسس التعاون مع صندوق النقد الدولي، عقد السيد نصرالله مقارنة لافتة بين وسائل وتدابير مواجهة وباء كورونا كما مواجهة الأزمة الاقتصادية وذلك بالتعرّف، أولاً، على جوانب التحديين المذكورين وكيفية مواجهتهما على النحو الآتي:

الإحاطة بالجوانب كلها لمعرفة حقيقة كلٍّ من التحديين.

عدم الاستسلام، بل مواجهة التحديين بما هما تهديدان للحياة والصحة العامة والاقتصاد والتربية والتعليم في آن.

وجوب أن يتحمّل اللبنانيون مجتمعين مسؤولياتهم في مواجهة التحدّيين.

وجوب أن يشارك أهل القرار جميعاً، وليس فقط وزير الصحة ومسؤولي الوزارات ذات الصلة، في توفير متطلّبات مواجهة التحدّيين.

وجوب اعتماد الشفافية في المواجهة ما يستوجب كشف كل أسباب وظواهر انتشار عوارض كلٍّ من التحديين.

ولأنّ مواجهة تحدّي الأزمة المالية والاقتصادية واجب المواطنين كما المسؤولين، فقد أعاد كلّ من الخبيرين الاقتصاديين اللامعين، الدكتور جورج قرم والدكتور حسن مقلد، تذكير الجميع في ندوات ومقابلات إعلامية ببعض التدابير الجذرية والجريئة الواجب اتخاذها في سياق إعداد خطة الحكومة المراد اعتمادها للتفاوض مع صندوق النقد الدولي، أهمّها:

إعادة هيكلة الدين العام بتدابير جذرية، أولها إلغاء دين الحكومة المتوجب عليها لمصرف لبنان المركزي.

استرداد مكاسب أصحاب المصارف من «الهندسات المالية» التي نظمّها لمصلحتهم مصرف لبنان.

سنّ ضريبة على الثروات الكبيرة.

تكثيف تدابير التحوّل الى اقتصاد الإنتاج بديلاً من الاعتماد الكلي على اقتصاد الخدمات والريوع.

مقاربة الصين وروسيا ودول «بريكس» للحصول على مساعدات وقروض للمشروعات الإنتاجية والتنموية.

غير أنّ ابرز الظاهرات غير المسبوقة في تاريخ لبنان المعاصر هي أنّ اللبنانيين تمكّنوا من التصدي لوباء كورونا بالتزامن مع التصدي للأزمة الاقتصادية وأنهم باتوا، الى حدّ بعيد، متّحدين في مواجهة هذين التحديين الخطيرين.

*وزير سابق.

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