Gaza has suffered the longest, most barbaric, lockdown in the world – I know, because I lived through three years of it

*Jaber Rjila’s home and farmland in al-Faraheen, Gaza’s southeast, have been attacked, damaged or destroyed by Israeli tanks and bulldozers on many occasions.
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Eva Bartlett an independent writer and rights activist with extensive experience in Syria and in the Gaza Strip, where she lived a cumulative three years (from late 2008 to early 2013). She documented the 2008/9 and 2012 Israeli war crimes and attacks on Gaza while riding in ambulances and reporting from hospitals. In 2017, she was short-listed for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. The award rightly was given to the amazing journalist, the late Robert Parry [see his work on Consortium News]. In March 2017, she was awarded “International Journalism Award for International Reporting” granted by the Mexican Journalists’ Press Club (founded in 1951). Co-recipients included: John Pilger and political analyst Thierry Meyssan. She was also the first recipient of the Serena Shim award, an honour shared with many excellent journalists since. https://serenashimaward.org/laureates/ Since April 2014, she has visited Syria 14 times, the last time being from March to late September, 2020. All of her writings and videos on which can be found here: https://ingaza.wordpress.com/syria/syria-my-published-articles-from-and-on-syria-2014-2017/ and here: https://www.youtube.com/user/InGazaUpdates/videos

By Eva Bartlett 


March 8, 2021, RT.comWhile the rest of the world may rightly moan about the ways in which the miserable Covid-induced lockdowns have affected our lives, spare a thought for the 2 million Palestinians imprisoned in Israel’s brutal and illegal blockade.

“We’re all Palestinians now,” some say, as people around the world are under Covid-19 lockdown and rendered jobless. While the reference is apt, Palestinians in Gaza have been under the most severe lockdown in the world for 14 long years.

As 2021 has gone on, it has become increasingly clear that lockdowns are affecting people around the world in painful and deadly ways beyond the already awful effects of slashed incomes and isolation.

So imagine life where the lockdown isn’t for a period of weeks or months, but throughout the year, every year, with no end in sight, making life utterly unlivable.

That is life in the Gaza Strip, which although only 40 km long and 365 square km in size, is appropriately dubbed the world’s largest open-air prison.

And while there is absolutely no just reason for Israel’s imprisonment of two million people, it continues, year after year, in violation of Israel’s legal obligations under international law, as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) notes.

It is collective punishment. As the UN reminded“No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”

Blockade brutality

The power outages, fuel and cooking gas shortages, dramatic food insecurity, stunted growth in children, 50 percent unemployment, and 96 percent undrinkable water have been Gaza’s reality for years.

Since 2012, the UN has warned that Gaza would become “unlivable” by 2020.

It was already unlivable when I first set foot in Gaza in November 2008. From then until March 2013, I lived a cumulative three years (and two wars) there, the latter half of that time in the humble home of a Palestinian family in central Gaza.

The power was out for 20-22 hours daily, mostly a result of the 2006 Israeli bombing of Gaza’s power plant, which was never fully reconstructed, thanks to the blockade that prevents the import of much-needed materials.

Picture a functioning hospital with dialysis machines, working ICUs, etc. Now imagine it with limited or no electricity, for 14 years, and after three wars. That’s Gaza.

And every year, due to the Israeli restrictions on imports, Gaza has less than a month’s supply of essential medicines (48 percent in 2019; 42 percent in January 2021). In December 2019, for example, 58 percent of chemotherapy drugs and 41 percent of kidney dialysis medicines were at zero stock.

Gaza’s lockdown has rendered vast numbers jobless, unable to travel, and prevented university graduates with scholarships abroad from completing their studies.

Exports have ground to a trickle. Formerly, Palestinians used to export not only the succulent strawberries grown in Gaza’s north but also many other goods including furniture, clothing, food products.

Imports are even more severely limited. When I arrived in 2008, only between 30-40 items (vs 4,000 before) were permitted entry to Gaza’s merchants.

Dangerous things like diapers, shoes, A4 paper, livestock, seeds, refrigerators, washing machines, fabrics, light bulbs, musical instruments, crayons, clothing… and much more, were explicitly banned entry.

As was, of course, building materials, desperately needed in Gaza as the population grew, and to rebuild destroyed homes, businesses and infrastructure.

Banning the entry of seeds and livestock seems like an attack on Palestinians’ food sources, deliberately causing starvation.

Indeed, at the time, near-starvation, according to the Gisha Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement, was the planThe security establishment had calculated the number of calories consumed by Gaza residents and used it to establish a ‘humanitarian minimum’, a bottom line to which it was possible to reduce food supply to Gaza without causing hunger or malnutrition…

Not quite dying of hunger, as the special adviser to numerous Israeli prime ministers, Dov Weissglass, said in 2006:

The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.

As of November 2020, Israel continues strictly restricting imports to Gaza. The UN’s Relief Web noted“The Israeli authorities officially list 62 items as “dual-use items” which include hundreds of goods and basic materials. The items on the “dual-use goods” list are essential to the life of the population…”

Attacking the food providers

Israel also puts Palestinians “on a diet” by firing on and abducting farmers and fishers, destroying wells and cisterns, destroying or stealing fishing boats and burning or spraying chemicals on farmland.

During my time in Gaza, I documented Israeli live machine gun and sniper fire, routinely coming under fire myself, including for extended periods.

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Were Israeli soldiers targeting ‘terrorists’?  No, these were farm labourers and families, including the elderly and women. None posing any threat to Israel.

Israeli soldiers also target labourers and children collecting rubble and metal from demolished or bombed homes, transporting it, usually on donkey carts, to places where it can be sold for re-use in construction.

Israel maintains its gunning down of farmers and labourers is about ‘security,’ and has long ago imposed a ‘buffer zone’ on the Gaza side, supposedly 300 metres from the fence. But in my own experience with farmers on land 500 metres or more from the fence, Israeli soldiers still shoot to maim and kill.

Like the 20-year old deaf farmer I accompanied one February 2009 morning. As he and other labourers pushed their stalled pick-up truck, Israeli soldiers began sniping, shooting around me and hitting him in his ankle.

A few weeks prior, an Israeli soldier had shot the man’s cousin in the neck, killing him. An extended family of 16 people depended on the meagre income of these young farm labourers.

Or the 17-year old girl an Israeli soldier shot in the knee when, a month after the 2008/2009 war ended, she returned to her southeastern Gaza destroyed home to see what remained. This was 800 metres from the fence.

Or the 20-year old farm labourer shot in his chest while working on land beyond the ‘buffer zone’. The 16-year old working beside him died from the bullets to his chest.

Or the youth left paralyzed after being shot by an Israeli soldier. His crime? Sitting outside the home of an aunt he was visiting.

The ‘buffer zone‘ robs Palestinians of a third of Gaza’s agricultural land – the best and most fertile bits. Decades and Israeli bulldozers prior, this same area was rich in olive, nut and fruit trees, and a variety of grain, legumes and vegetable crops.

Nowadays, if Palestinians are lucky, they can plant low maintenance crops, hoping they don’t get burned, or bulldozed before harvesting, testimonies of which I’ve taken time and time again, and have witnessed while it happened.

A 2020 UN report noted that at the time Gaza’s fishers were allowed to access water eight nautical miles off the coast (less than half the 20-mile distance agreed on under the Oslo Accords).

However, from my experience working with fishers when the limit was just six miles, Israeli gunboats would target them even less than one mile off the coast, machine-gunning, shelling, water-cannoning or kidnapping the fishers and boats.

As a special bonus, the Israeli navy often adds a chemical to the spray which leaves the soaked victims stinking of excrement for days.

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The preventable stench

When travelling from central or southern Gaza on the coastal road, the shared taxi I was in would pass through Wadi Gaza, a slight valley which at times was overwhelmed by the stench of up to 90 million litres of raw and partially-treated sewage daily draining into the sea.

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Because Gaza cannot treat its sewage and is not allowed to import materials needed to maintain or improve its sewage holding tanks, the only solution is dumping it into the sea. Otherwise, the sewage holding pools overflow into residential areas.

In 2007, a sewage treatment reservoir’s wall ruptured, overflowing into a village, drowning five people, including two children.

*Beit Lahia sewage treatment plant (photo November 2008). This pool overflowed in March 2007, killing numerous living in the surrounding area below.

Less dramatic but still terrible, heavy rains combine with the sewage to flood streets, leaving people to wade through the foul water, and damaging homes of people that have neither the money nor means to rebuild.

When, in December 2013, massive flooding and sewage overflow ruined 400 homes, a UNRWA spokesperson said“Any normal community would struggle to recover from this disaster. But a community that has been subjected to one of the longest blockades in human history, whose public health system has been destroyed and where the risk of disease was already rife, must be freed from these man made constraints to deal with the impact of a natural calamity such as this.” 

That was over seven years ago, and nothing has changed.

End the lockdown

Protesting against the lockdown of Gaza, the “Great March of Return” from March 2018 to the end of 2019 saw 214 Palestinians killed by Israel, including 46 children, with 36,100 injured, including nearly 8,800 children, according to the UN.

Imagine the headlines were this in Russia or Syria.

As of January, the Rafah Crossing (the sole crossing controlled by Egypt, not Israel) remained closed. Over 7,000 Palestinians are registered to exit Gaza, and thousands are waiting to enter, the UN reported.

According to the UN, Gaza now gets 14 hours of power a day, the one improvement I’m aware of since my time living there.

The rest – the targeting farmers and fishers, the random Israeli bombings and psychological warfare, and most notably, the blockade – remains as per the many previous years.

Indeed, according to a March 3 statement by UNRWA’s Gaza director, conditions in Gaza have only gotten worse.

Conditions have become so bad that “the well-known definition of extreme or absolute poverty is no longer suitable, most of the Palestinian refugees in Gaza need help.”

Those under Covid-19 lockdowns now have experienced a mere fraction of what Palestinians in Gaza have endured for so long. I would hope that, as a result, more people might be moved to demand Israel end its 14-year lockdown of Gaza.

RELATED:

UN predictions fall short: Gaza uninhabitable today

Israeli tank and bulldozer invasion of Palestinian farmland

Dignified beyond losses:Palestinian farmers’ livelihoods destroyed by Israel

Homes and livelihoods destroyed by Israeli bulldozers

How israeli policies and attacks have ravaged Gaza’s agricultural sector

Israeli Navy Terrorism: Destroying Boats and Lives

Israeli naval abductions and shooting at Palestinian fishermen: it’s routine

stars and bombs: random israeli bombing a few hundred metres from home

Attack on Water Brings Sanitation Crisis

Gaza drives

Leaving Gaza: Egypt’s treatment of “undesirables”…or, that time I was locked underground in an Egyptian airport with dozens of other civilians

Three Fishermen Killed in Southern Gaza (EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS)

March 7, 2021

Three Palestinian fishermen were killed on Sunday morning while fishing in an area adjacent to the town of Khan Younes. (Photo: The Palestine Chronicle, Supplied)

Three Palestinian fishermen were killed on Sunday morning while fishing in an area adjacent to the town of Khan Younes, in the southern Gaza Strip, Wafaa Aludaini, Palestine Chronicle correspondent from the Gaza Strip, reported.

The Palestinian Ma’an news agency quoted Nizar Ayash, the head of the Fishermen Union in the Strip, confirming the death of the three fishermen.

They have been identified as Yahya Mustafa al-Laham, Hamdi Hijazi al-Laham, Zakarya Hijazi al-Laham. 

The agency also reported that a committee, which documents Israeli human rights violations in Gaza, confirmed that the three fishermen were killed as a result of Israeli shelling. 

The spokesman for the Israeli army, however, claimed that “our forces did not carry out any attacks near the Gaza coast.”

More updates on the story to follow. 

(All Photos: The Palestine Chronicle)

WARNING Zionist brutality: the everyday nightmare in Palestine

Investigation to Move Forward: Everything You Need to Know about ICC Latest Ruling on Israeli War Crimes (SPECIAL REPORT)

February 6, 2021

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. (Photo: UN Website)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

On Friday, February 5, the last hurdle in the way of an international investigation into war crimes committed in occupied Palestine has been removed, as the International Criminal Court in the Hague has finally approved the Prosecutor’s request to open legal proceedings regarding war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Gaza.

“Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court .. decided, by majority, that the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine, a State party to the ICC Rome Statute, extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” the ICC said in a press release that was made available to international media, including The Palestine Chronicle.

The Investigation

After years of haggling, the ICC had resolved in December 2019 that, “there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine, pursuant to Article 53(1) of the Statute.”

Article 53(1) merely describes the procedural steps that often lead, or do not lead, to an investigation by the Court.

That Article is satisfied when the amount of evidence provided to the Court is so convincing that it leaves the ICC with no other option but to move forward with an investigation.

Indeed, Bensouda had already declared late last year that she was,

“satisfied that (i) war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip… (ii) potential cases arising from the situation would be admissible; and (iii) there are no substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice.”

The Reactions

The decision, then, has angered Israel and its Western allies, who insisted that the ICC has no jurisdiction, since Palestine, they alleged, is not an independent state. 

As soon as Bensouda made her decision, although, after much delay, the US administration swiftly moved to block the Court’s attempt at holding Israeli officials accountable. On June 11, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order slapping sanctions on members of the global judicial body, citing the ICC’s investigations of US war crimes in Afghanistan and Israeli war crimes in Palestine.

In an historic irony, Germany, which had to answer to numerous war crimes committed by the Nazi regime during World War II, stepped in to serve as the main defender of Israel at the ICC and to shield accused Israeli war criminals from legal and moral accountability.

Germany, among others, then argued that the ICC had no legal authority to discuss Israeli war crimes in the occupied territories. These efforts, however, eventually amounted to nil.

Dr. Triestino Mariniello, member of the legal team for Gaza victims at the ICC,  told Palestine Chronicle TV: 

“There are at least eight countries that are openly against an investigation of the Palestinian situation. Germany is one. Some of the others came as a surprise, to be honest, for at least four other countries, Uganda, Brazil, Czech Republic, and Hungary had explicitly recognized that Palestine is a State under international law, yet are now submitting statements before the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber saying that this is not true anymore.”

The Pre-Trial Chamber

Consequently, Bensouda referred the matter to the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber, requesting a “ruling on the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in the State of Palestine”.

The pre-trial chamber consists of judges that authorize the opening of investigations. Customarily once the Prosecutor decides to consider an investigation, she has to inform the Pre-Trial Chamber of her decision.

According to the Rome Statute, Article 56(b), 

“… the Pre-Trial Chamber may, upon request of the Prosecutor, take such measures as may be necessary to ensure the efficiency and integrity of the proceedings and, in particular, to protect the rights of the defence.”

According to Dr. Mariniello:

 “This request to the Pre-Trial Chamber was not necessary, for a simple reason: because the situation is being referred by the State of Palestine. So, when a State party refers a situation to the Prosecutor, the Prosecutor does not need authorization by the Pre-Trial Chamber.”

The Court’s Jurisdiction

The State of Palestine became a signatory of the Rome Statute in January 2015. By accepting the jurisdiction of the Court, Palestine became a State Party. 

The Pre-Trial Chamber 1 reiterated that Palestine is a State Party, therefore the Court has jurisdiction over its territory. Dr. Mariniello told The Palestine Chronicle: “The Pre-trial Chamber did not only recognize that Palestine is a State, they also stated that the Court’s jurisdiction extends to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza. What we feared was a further fragmentation of the Palestinian territory” but, according to the ruling, this was not the case.

A Victory

“It is a landmark decision since all the comments expressed by the legal team representing the Gaza victims have been approved. Therefore, they rejected all the arguments by civil society organizations or even states who were trying to persuade the Court that Palestine is not a State,” Dr. Mariniello added.

Professor Richard Falk, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, told Palestine Chronicle TV that the ICC investigation is a “breakthrough”.

“It’s a breakthrough even to consider the investigation, let alone the indictment and the prosecution of either Israelis or Americans that was put on the agenda of the ICC, which led to a pushback by these governments … Israel has denounced the Court as if it is improper to examine any State that claims the matter of geopolitical impunity. So you have a core denial of the rule of law.”

The Narrow Scope

Professor Falk elaborated, 

 “The scope of the investigation is something that is ill-defined, so it is a matter of political discretion,” Professor. Falk said, adding that “the Court takes a position that needs to be cautious about delimiting its jurisdiction and, therefore, it tries to narrow the scope of what it is prepared to investigate. I don’t agree with this view … but it does represent the fact that the ICC, like the UN itself, is subject to immense geopolitical pressure”.

The legal representatives of the ‘Palestinian Victims Residents of the Gaza Strip’ had expressed their concern on behalf of the victims regarding “the ostensibly narrow scope of the investigation into the crimes suffered by the Palestinian victims of this situation.”

The ‘narrow scope of the investigation’ has thus far excluded such serious crimes as Crimes Against Humanity. According to the Gaza legal team, the killing of hundreds and wounding of thousands of unarmed protesters participating in the ‘Great March of Return’ is a crime against humanity that must also be investigated.

The ICC’s jurisdiction, of course, goes beyond Bensouda’s decision to investigate ‘war crimes’ only.

Article 5 of the Rome Statute – the founding document of the ICC – extends the Court’s jurisdiction to investigate the following “serious crimes”:

(a) The Crime of Genocide

(b) Crimes Against Humanity

(c) War Crimes

(d) The Crime of Aggression

It should come as no surprise that Israel is qualified to be investigated on all four points and that the nature of Israeli crimes against Palestinians often tends to constitute a mixture of two or more of these points simultaneously.

That in mind, according to Mariniello,

“The scope of the investigation is not binding for the future. The Prosecutor can decide, at any moment, to include other crimes. We hope it will happen because, otherwise, many victims will never get justice.”

What Now

Mariniello told The Palestine Chronicle,

 “Now, the hard work starts for the legal representatives of the ‘Palestinian Victims Residents of the Gaza Strip’, we cannot lower the guard. We need to work so that the ICC Prosecutor can identify the people responsible for international crimes and their criminal behavior as soon as possible.”

The Prosecutor

The decision that there were sufficient elements to investigate war crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories was taken by ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, who is currently nearing the end of her term. 

A new prosecutor should be elected soon.

(Managing Editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Romana Rubeo, composed this report) 

“Israel” to Ask Allies to Pass “Discreet Message” to ICC Not to Open War Crimes Probe in Occupied Palestine

“Israel” to Ask Allies to Pass “Discreet Message” to ICC Not to Open War Crimes Probe in Occupied Palestine

By Staff, Agencies

Tel Aviv intends to lure “dozens of” its allies to convey a “discreet message” to the International Criminal Court [ICC] prosecutor, Fatou Bensoud, pressuring her not to proceed with the probe into war crimes committed by the “Israeli” entity in the occupied territories, an Axios report said Sunday.

The ICC ruled on Friday that it had jurisdiction to open an investigation into war crimes committed by “Israel” in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East al-Quds [Jerusalem].

The report cited two Israeli officials who said that the country’s foreign ministry sent a classified table [designated as “Urgent”] to its ambassadors around the globe on Sunday. According to the lobbying instructions in the cable, the “Israeli” diplomats should reach out to foreign ministers and heads of government and ask them to issue official statements objecting to the ICC ruling.

“We ask that [governments] send a discreet message to the prosecutor asking her not to move forward with the investigation against Israeli and not give this case a high priority”, the cable reportedly read.

“You are instructed to tell the highest levels of government that if an investigation against ‘Israel’ starts it will create a continuous crisis between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that will not allow any diplomatic progress to take place between the parties”, it reportedly added.

The “Israeli” entity’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lambasted the ICC move on Saturday, calling it “pure anti-Semitism” and called instead to “investigate brutal dictatorships like Iran and Syria.”

Earlier on Saturday, the “Israel” Occupation Forces [IOF] called the ICC’s decision biased and said it would continue to protect the security of the country and its citizens, respecting national and international law.

The US Department of State has expressed concerns over the ICC decision to exercise its jurisdiction over the “Israeli” entity.

In a statement on Friday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said: “‘Israel’ is not a State Party to the Rome Statute. We will continue to uphold President Biden’s strong commitment to ‘Israel’ and its security, including opposing actions that seek to target ‘Israel’ unfairly.”

The ICC announcement said that the court’s “territorial jurisdiction in the situation in Palestine [….] extends to the territories occupied by ‘Israel’ since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem [al-Quds]”. Bensoud also added that there is “a reasonable basis” to believe that war crimes “have been or are being committed in the West Bank” by the “Israeli” entity, requesting an investigation.

The move was welcomed by the Palestinian Authority, with Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh calling it as “a victory for justice and humanity, for the values of truth, fairness and freedom, and for the blood of the victims and their families”.

Hamas also welcomed the ICC ruling, stressing that “any decision that contributes to supporting the rights of the Palestinian people and defends their freedom is an appropriate decision, consistent with human values, human rights charters, protection of civilians under occupation and the prosecution of war criminals”.

In December 2019, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that there was sufficient evidence to open a full investigation into possible war crimes committed in Palestine.

The announcement was made after the conclusions of a nearly five year preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine, which primarily focused on the 2014 Gaza War and the “Israeli” entity’s possible “intentionally launching disproportionate attacks” but also looked into the incidents at the Gaza border with the entity in March 2018 which resulted in the killing of over 200 individuals, including 40 children.

Arabic press review: Palestinians step up efforts to sue Israel at ICC

Meanwhile, Hamas is reportedly split on decision to participate in elections, and Egypt and the UAE feel alienated after results of UN-sponsored Libyan elections

Image result for Arabic press review: Palestinians step up efforts to sue Israel at ICC
The Bakr family in their house in the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City on 7 February, with posters of four children from their extended family killed during the 2014 Gaza war (AFP)

By Mohammad Ayesh

Published date: 8 February 2021 15:13 UTC

Palestinians to sue Israel at International Criminal Court

Palestinians have started intensifying their efforts to prosecute Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC), following its recent decision recognising its jurisdiction in the Palestinian territories, Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported.

The ICC’s ruling that it has jurisdiction over the situation in the Palestinian territories opens the way to it investigating alleged war crimes committed in the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza.ICC rules it has jurisdiction to probe alleged war crimes by Israel and Hamas

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is seeking to transfer the record of Israeli crimes documented during the Gaza war, including settlements in the West Bank and Palestinian detainees in occupation prisons, according to the newspaper.

The ministry is reportedly expected to start making extensive contacts at the international and regional levels. The paper added that an official Palestinian delegation would visit the ICC soon with the aim of moving the cases forward to prosecute Israeli leaders for the crimes they committed in the Palestinian territories.

Palestinian circles said that the Palestinian foreign minister would formally request that the ICC prosecutor open a criminal investigation as soon as possible.

Disagreement within Hamas over election participation

The decision to participate in the Palestinian elections has caused disagreement within Hamas, whose members said they had not been adequately consulted prior to the move.

Members and supporters of the movement in the West Bank have rejected the decision, due to the continued repressive practices of the occupation forces and the Palestinian Authority against them, Arabi21 reported.After 15-year wait, Palestinian elections face new obstacles following law amendments

The news website interviewed several sources within the movement in the West Bank, who said: “Hamas leaders and commanders in the West Bank have informed the leadership of the widespread dissatisfaction over the movement’s decision to participate in the election, which was made hastily and without consulting with the movement’s institutions.”

The sources said the conditions facing Hamas in the West Bank, which is under the control of President Mahmoud Abbas, remain the same. The movement says it is still facing restrictions imposed by the PA, while Israeli forces continue to crack down on its members, restricting their ability to participate in public meetings, form lists or hold meetings with other political forces.

Anger in Egypt, UAE following Libyan elections

Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have been actively attempting to contain the latest developments in Libya, namely the establishment of a new executive authority under the auspices of the United Nations headed by personalities who have no affiliation to either country, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

According to Egyptian sources, the loss of the Cairo-backed list, headed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Tobruk Aguila Saleh, was a shock to the Egyptian authorities involved in the Libyan crisis, especially after the victory of figures known to be inclined towards Turkey.

The sources emphasised that the Egyptian presidency had been uneasy over the victory of the Al-Manfi/Dbeibah list and the formation of a new executive authority in Libya under the auspices of the United Nations.Libya: Dbeibah surprise pick as new interim prime minister

The sources pointed out that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi considered what happened as a “great victory for Turkish policies in Libya”, adding that “Cairo still has bargaining chips to tame the new executive authority”.

The sources also said that the retired general Khalifa Haftar and his forces still presented a major pressure card for Abu Dhabi and Cairo to obstruct the work of the new government in Libya if it expressed hostile or militant positions towards the interests of the two countries – or showed a clear bias towards Turkish interests at the expense of the Egyptian and Emirati states.

Haftar’s militia spokesman, Ahmed al-Mesmari, welcomed the results of the vote and congratulated the newly elected officials. Sisi has also declared his support for the transitional government.

*Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye

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

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




Summary

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

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

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

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

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

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

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

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 9 incidents, including:

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

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

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

 Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




       II. Incursions and arrests:

Thursday, 31 December 2020:

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

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

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

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

Friday, 01 January 2021:

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

Saturday, 02 January 2021:

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

Sunday, 03 January 2021:

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

Monday, 04 January 2021:

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

Tuesday, 05 January 2021:

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

Wednesday, 06 January 2021:

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

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

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

Youssef Kamel Youssef Salamah said that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

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

‘Omer Ya’qoub Hadrous said that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The West Bank:

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

Jerusalem:

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

Ramallah:

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

Bethlehem:

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

Jericho:

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

Nablus:

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

Tubas:

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

Hebron:

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

Qalqilya:

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

Salfit:

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

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

By Dr. Zuhair Sabbagh

Global Research, January 08, 2021

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

The DIME Components

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

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

On October 19, 2006, a group of

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

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

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

The DIME Health Hazards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Flechette Shell Components

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

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

The Health Hazards of the Flechette Shell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They Target Schools, don’t they?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The author added that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Components of the Vacuum Bomb

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

Once the Vacuum Bomb explodes,

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

After explosion,

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

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

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

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

Health Hazards of Vacuum Bombs

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

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

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

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

Could It Be Genocide?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

[7] Brooks, James, op. cit.

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

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

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

[11] Ibid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

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

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

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

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Ibid.

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

[37] Ibid.

[38] Ibid.

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

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

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid.

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

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

[46] Ibid.

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

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

[49] Ibid.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Ibid.

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

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

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

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

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

Related

Anis al Naqqash: how Soleimani and Mugniyeh helped Palestine

Israel’s Genocide in Gaza Goes Uninterrupted, But Is Europe Finally Taking Notice?

By Miko Peled

Source

A long and cruel siege, constant Israeli attacks resulting in the killing of countless civilians, destruction of homes and infrastructure, extreme poverty, and trauma remain the daily bread of Palestinians in Gaza.

Areport published by the United Nations in 2018 stated that by the year 2020 the Gaza Strip would be uninhabitable. It said specifically that, “the United Nations has stated that Gaza may well be unlivable by 2020.” The report emphasized also that “Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied Since 1967, drew attention to Israel’s persistent non-cooperation with the Special Rapporteur’s mandate. As with his two predecessors, Israel has not granted him entry to visit the country, nor the Occupied Palestinian territory.” Anyone who thinks that the Gaza Strip was liveable prior to 2020 is out of their mind.

The Gaza Strip has been a humanitarian disaster since it was artificially created in the aftermath of the 1948 Zionist campaign of ethnic cleansing. It was created primarily as a holding place for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians driven off of their lands by Zionist terrorists in southern Palestine. Impoverished and homeless, these refugees were forced to survive on handouts, and today they make up more than half of the Gaza Strip’s 2.2 million inhabitants. Considering the high standard of living Jewish citizens of Israel in that part of the country enjoy, living as they do on the very lands from which the Palestinians were exiled, the “Strip” was never “liveable.”

Now 2020 has come and gone, the United Nations report is shelved, and not a thing has changed. Over two million people remain imprisoned by Israel in the Gaza Strip. They suffer from a lack of the most basic needs like drinkable water, electricity, medicine, and nutrition. Israel also denies them basic human rights while Israeli Jews living minutes away enjoy a standard of living that is, by any measure, enviable with full access to the finest health care, nutrition, and clean water.

A European delegation comes to visit

A delegation of European representatives recently visited Gaza, yet Europeans have not used their influence, political or otherwise, to end Israeli violations of human rights and international law.

It would not have taken much for EU representatives to see the devastation, poverty, and severe shortages experienced by the people of Gaza. All one needs to do is drive through the Gaza Strip to see the evidence, and yet no change seems to be forthcoming from the Europeans.

Gaza Europe
A family prepares tea in a slum on the outskirts of Khan Younis Refugee Camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, Nov. 25, 2020. Khalil Hamra | AP

In fact, according to the Israeli press, Germany just announced that in order to provide Israel with a European made vaccine for Covid-19, “Germany used its influence in the EU to bend the rule that a European-produced vaccination would be given to European countries first. Germany justified the decision in part through its “historical commitment to supporting Israel.” Knowing full well that millions of Palestinians are denied health care and that the spread of Covid-19 among Palestinians is alarming, no such commitment was made to assist the Palestinians in their fight against the deadly disease..

Complicity

The comfort that Europeans display as they cooperate with the State of Israel, even as they claim to be champions of human rights, amounts to complicity. According to the Geneva Convention, particularly the Rome Statute, European cooperation with Israel constitutes complicity in genocide. When one looks at the definition of genocide and compares it with the actions of Israel in Gaza, it is quite clear that the Zionist State is engaged in genocide.


Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

Article II

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group;

Three of the five examples given here are constantly committed by Israel in Gaza. Furthermore, Article II of the Genocide Convention “contains a narrow definition of the crime of genocide, which includes two main elements,” one of which is the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.” Israeli attacks on Gaza for over seven decades  clearly demonstrate that they are part of a larger strategy and that there is clear intent to bring about the destruction of a people.

According to a report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW), the issue of complicity with genocide is quite clear. “Prior jurisprudence has defined the term complicity as aiding and abetting, instigating, and procuring […] Complicity to commit genocide in Article 2(3)(e) refers to all acts of assistance or encouragement that have substantially contributed to, or have had a substantial effect on, the completion of the crime of genocide.”

The report defined the following as elements of complicity in genocide:

  • “complicity by procuring means, such as weapons, instruments or any other means, used to commit genocide, with the accomplice knowing that such means would be used for such a purpose;
  • complicity by knowingly aiding or abetting a perpetrator of a genocide in the planning or enabling acts thereof;

According to that definition, both the EU states and the United States are complicit in the crime of genocide.

Human Rights Watch maintains that Israel has, “entrenched discriminatory systems that treat Palestinians unequally.”  It “involves systematic rights abuses, including collective punishment, routine use of excessive lethal force against protesters, and prolonged administrative detention without charge or trial for hundreds.”

It continues to state that Israel, “builds and supports illegal settlements […]expropriating Palestinian land and imposing burdens on Palestinians but not on settlers, restricting their access to basic services and making it nearly impossible for them to build.”

Regarding the Gaza Strip, HRW writes that “Israel’s more than decade-long closure of Gaza severely restricts the movement of people and goods, with devastating humanitarian impact.”

What constitutes aid?

The first order of business needs to be the immediate and unconditional lifting of the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2007. A no-fly zone monitored by UN or European naval forces must be imposed on all Israeli aircraft. In addition to these measures, humanitarian relief must be made available to the people of Gaza without delay.

Israel must be sanctioned and all military and economic cooperation with Israel must be stopped until such time that it complies with international law and ends all its violations of human rights. This should be followed by setting a date for free and fair one person, one vote elections in all of historic Palestine. Then processes must be put in place for the repatriation of Palestinian refugees, and funding must be set aside for payment of reparations and restitution.

A girl walks next to a donkey carte loaded with rocks on the outskirts of Khan Younis Refugee Camp, in the southern Gaza, Nov. 25, 2020. Khalil Hamra |AP

Israel must also be held accountable for its violations of international law since 1948 and Israeli politicians, as well as military commanders, must be investigated and charged with war crimes.

European countries are fully aware of the reality that exists in Gaza. A long and cruel siege, constant Israeli attacks resulting in the killing of countless civilians, destruction of homes and infrastructure, extreme poverty, and trauma are the daily bread of Palestinians in Gaza.

The reality in Gaza is no secret and Israeli violations of international law are well known. However, European governments are in the habit of seeing colonized and formerly colonized people as needing aid and doing little to provide the aid. The aid they provide is sometimes monetary and sometimes humanitarian in the form of food items, but rarely is it sufficient. In the case of the Gaza Strip, real political action is called for, but it is not clear if and when the EU will be willing to act.

حرب الصواريخ والمسيّرات: نهاية النموذج الإسرائيلي

  الأخبار 

علي حيدر 

الجمعة 18 كانون الأول 2020

حرب الصواريخ والمسيّرات: نهاية النموذج الإسرائيلي
واضحٌ أن جيش العدو يحاول في أكثر من اتجاه تعزيز صورة الردع (أ ف ب )

تسارعت وتيرة الرسائل التي يتعمّد العدو الإسرائيلي توجيهها في أكثر من اتجاه، على خلفية إدراكه حجم التطوّر في قدرات حلف المقاومة، بدءاً من إيران وصولاً إلى حزب الله في لبنان والمقاومة في غزة، ولا سيما في ظلّ التحوّلات التي بدّدت رهاناته في غير ساحة. تأتي هذه الرسائل، أيضاً، في أعقاب توعّد طهران بالردّ على اغتيال رئيس «مركز البحوث العلمية» في وزارة الدفاع، محسن فخري زادة. ومع أنها تهدف إلى تعزيز الردع من خلال إعلان نجاح تجارب صاروخية، إلا أنها تعكس حجم القلق داخل مؤسّسة القرار الإسرائيلية من تطوّر القدرات الصاروخية لدى «أعدائها»، ودخولها مراحل جديدة مع أجيال الصواريخ الدقيقة والجوّالة والمسيّرات الهجومية، وهو ما يفرض على جيش العدو رفع مستوى جهوزيّته للتعامل مع هذا المستوى من التهديد على أنه حقيقة قائمة.

وتندرج الرسائل الإسرائيلية في سياقين: استراتيجي وظرفي. الأول يهدف إلى الإيحاء بأن إسرائيل في الطريق إلى إنتاج قدرات دفاعية تحاكي المستوى الذي ظهر حتى الآن لدى إيران وحلفائها، والذي يخشى العدو من أن يتبعه ارتفاع في مستوى الجرأة على المبادرة العملانية من موقع الابتداء أو الردّ، ما سيضعه أمام خيارات مفصلية. وفي السياق الثاني، تحاول تل أبيب ثني طهران عن الردّ، والقول لها إنها تستعدّ لمرحلة ما بعد الردّ بالردّ المتدحرج. وفي هذا الإطار تحديداً، يندرج ما صدر عن وزارة الأمن الإسرائيلية حول نجاح «سلسلة تجارب صاروخية غير مسبوقة» وصفتها بـ«التاريخية»، وبأنها مصمَّمة لمواجهة تهديدات متنوّعة عبر نظام متعدّد الطبقات يمثّل استجابة لأحدث التهديدات الناشئة في المنطقة.

البيان الإسرائيلي ادّعى أن الصواريخ المعترِضة تمكّنت من «اعتراض صواريخ وصواريخ كروز وطائرات بلا طيار ورشقة صواريخ دقيقة». واللافت في التجارب الإسرائيلية أنها دائماً ما توصف بـ«الناجحة والمفصلية»، ولا استثناءات في هذا المجال إلا ما كان صارخاً ولا يمكن نفيه. مع ذلك، تشكّل هذه التجارب وتباهي العدو بها أبلغ إقرار عملي بإخفاق رهانات واشنطن وتل أبيب على قطع الطريق على تعاظم هذا النوع من التهديدات، ومنع وصوله إلى حلف المقاومة. وتقول صحيفة «جيروزاليم بوست» العبرية إن الاختبار يأتي في أعقاب استخدام إيران «كروز» وطائرات مسيّرة لمهاجمة منشآت «بقيق» النفطية السعودية قبل عام. كما تروي تقارير إسرائيلية أن طهران أرسلت صواريخ باليستية إلى حلفائها في العراق وسوريا وحزب الله فضلاً عن الطائرات بلا طيّار.
أيضاً، تؤكد تقارير أخرى أكثر أهمية قناعة الخبراء الإسرائيليين بأن تطوّر قدرات حلف المقاومة سيتواصل في مسار تصاعدي كمّاً ونوعاً، ما يشكّل «تحدّياً استراتيجياً أكثر خطورة على الأمن القومي». وهذا ما حذّرت منه «جيروزاليم بوست» بقولها إن «مصفوفة التهديد تتغيّر، وبين أعداء اليوم، إيران هي العدو الإقليمي الرئيس لإسرائيل بصواريخ وطائرات بلا طيّار معقّدة ومتعدّدة». مع ذلك، يجد العدو نفسه ملزماً بالانكفاء إلى الدفاع لمواجهة مفاعيل هذا التطور، إدراكاً منه أنه فقد القدرة على إحباطه عبر خيارات استباقية واسعة، أو على الأقلّ صار أكثر قناعة بأن الاستهدافات الموضعية هنا وهناك قد تكون قادرة على إبطاء أو إرباك المسار التطوري، لكن لا رهان على مفاعيلها على المدى البعيد. وانطلاقاً مما تقدّم، تعمل إسرائيل على تعزيز نظامها الدفاعي «المعقّد والمتعدّد الطبقات» الذي يحاول أن يواكب تطوّر قدرات المقاومة.

وفي تجلٍّ لحجم التحوّل الاستراتيجي جرّاء تغيّر طبيعة التهديدات وحجمها ومداها الجغرافي، استحضرت «جيروزاليم بوست» ما سمّته «النمط التاريخي للحرب الإسرائيلية» الذي كان أساساً «على الأرض ضدّ الأعداء على طول الحدود»، من معارك الدبابات في الخمسينيات والستينيات إلى الانتفاضة عام 2000، لتخلص إلى أن «الحرب اليوم لم تعد تتعلّق بمطاردة مقاتلين في المباني أو باستخدام الدبابات، بل بمواجهة الصواريخ العالية التقنية والطائرات المسيّرة». وأضافت الصحيفة: «التهديدات الحديثة ظهرت مع تخزين حزب الله 150 ألف صاروخ وقذيفة، فيما أظهرت الحرب الأخيرة في القوقاز كيف يمكن للطائرات المسيّرة أن تُغيّر الحرب، ولهذا يريد الجميع في المنطقة الآن الصواريخ ومنظومات الدفاع الصاروخي». مع ذلك، بدت الصحيفة أكثر تشكيكاً في فعّالية هذه المنظومة لدى الاستحقاق العملاني، فرأت أن «إسرائيل تمتلك أهمّ مجموعة نظام دفاعي عالي التقنية في تاريخ العالم. لكن السؤال، كما الحال دائماً، سيكون كيف تعمل هذه الأنظمة في سيناريوات حقيقية».
من جهة أخرى، سبق التجاربَ الصاروخية تسريبُ جيش العدو خطّة عسكرية لحرب مقبلة مع غزة، في ما يبدو أن الهدف منه الضغط على فصائل المقاومة ومحاولة تعزيز الردع الإسرائيلي عبر رفع المخاوف من تداعيات هذه الحرب، خاصة أن التسريب تحدّث عن أن معركة مماثلة ستؤدي إلى مقتل ثلاثمئة فلسطيني يومياً، ما يعني أن الجيش عازم على ارتكاب مجازر مضاعفة بحق المدنيين عن الحروب السابقة. وممّا يلفت أن هذا التسريب يأتي في الوقت الذي يسود فيه هدوء ملحوظ في القطاع والمناطق المحيطة به، بل كانت تقديرات الأمن الإسرائيلي قد أفادت بأن احتمال التصعيد العسكري مع المقاومة الفلسطينية ضئيل جداً، خاصة في ظلّ تواصل المحادثات بين إسرائيل و«حماس» بوساطة مصرية حول تهدئة طويلة.

كذلك، يحاول جيش العدو، تحت رئاسة أفيف كوخافي، تثبيت معادلات جديدة ستحكم أيّ مواجهة مقبلة، وتبديد صورة الانكفاء عن التوغل البري التي وسمت الجيش خلال المواجهات السابقة مع القطاع. وعلى هذه الخلفية، يأتي ما نقلته تقارير إعلامية عبرية تقول إنه «بالإمكان تحقيق حسم واضح وانتصار مقابل حماس… مع أن احتلال القطاع أو السيطرة عليه مجدّداً أو التسبّب في انهيار حكم حماس ليس مطروحاً في هذه المرحلة في ملعب المداولات، وذلك بما يتلاءم مع سياسة الحكومة في هذا الموضوع». في كلّ الأحوال، يبدو واضحاً أن جيش العدو يهدف، في استراتيجية الحرب على الوعي التي يعتمدها، إلى تبديد التصوّرات التي عكسها أداؤه منذ حرب 2006، مروراً بالحروب المتعدّدة مع غزة، على أمل أن يتمكّن من تعزيز ردعه، لكنه يُقرّ باستمرار التعاظم في قدرات المقاومة في غزة ولبنان، كما يواصل مساعيه لرفع مستوى استعداداته بما يتلاءم مع التهديدات المتنوّعة والمتطوّرة والمتّسع نطاقها ليشمل ساحات حلف المقاومة كافة، وصولاً إلى اليمن.

PCHR Demands Relief for Workers Hurt by the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Date: 14 December 2020

Time: 08:00 GMT

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights follows with concern the humanitarian conditions of Gaza Strip’s workers under the government-imposed restriction to curb the spread of the coronavirus, including nighttime curfew and weekend shutdowns that stated last Saturday, 11 December 2020. PCHR warns of the catastrophic deterioration in the living conditions of thousands of workers who lack the minimum standards for dignified life due to the shutdown or reduced work in the facilities they work in. PCHR demands the Palestinian government and the Gaza authorities to support these workers without political or geographical discrimination.

According to PCHR’s follow-up, at least 160,000 workers, mostly daily workers who earned a living through daily work in institutions and facilities that had shutdown or reduced operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, mainly factories, shops, schools, universities and daycares, as well as, wedding halls, restaurants, coffee shops, popular markers and in transportation. These workers have lost their sources of income and their means to support their families’ minimum needs. Some workers were let go or their hours/workdays were reduced, others had pay cuts inflicted on their already low wages; 80% received wages below the minimum wage decided in the Council of Ministers decision No. 11 of 2012, which set the minimum wages at 1,450ILS/month, and minimum wages for daily workers, especially those working on ad-hoc basis, to 64 ILS/day.

PCHR has monitored the government interventions to support workers who lost their sources of income. The Palestinian government, through the “Waqfat Ezz” Fund – Ministry of Social Development, has released a one-time relief payment of USD 150-200 to 5,000 workers from the Gaza Strip.[1] The Gaza authorities, mainly the Ministry of Labor, released a one-time relief payment of USD 100 for 81,850 workers affected by the pandemic in four installments. According to Eng. Maher Abu-Raya, Director General of Employment at the Ministry of Labor, said that the Gaza government’s relief payment was funded by the Gaza-Ministry of Finance, the Qatari fund and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The government action to relieve the pandemic’s negative impact on the Gaza Strip’s workers during the state of emergency do not meet their minimum needs and did not cover all affected workers. Also, the fact that these were one-time payments does not support workers’ livelihoods, especially that they have been out of work for a lengthy period. Even more, many workers and union members complained that they were deprived of any government aid and it was not distributed on a clear criterion.

Even before the curfew was imposed, which is deemed necessary for the sake of public safety, the people of the Gaza Strip suffered from harsh living conditions with high rates of unemployment and poverty due to the Israeli-imposed closure on the Gaza Strip for the last 14 years and the accompanying restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, the ban on exports, targeted attacks on the industrial and production sectors and destroying 70% of both sectors during past Israeli offensives on the Gaza Strip.

All of the above was a main contributing factor to the increased unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip to 45% (i.e. 217,100 unemployed workers) and resulted in a 53% poverty rate among its population. Meanwhile, more than 62.2% of the Gaza population suffer from food insecurity according to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In light of its fear of deteriorating living conditions for the Gaza Strip workers, especially per-day workers, in the case of a prolonged emergency situation, PCHR:

  • Believes that the Israeli-imposed closure on the Gaza Strip has led to this catastrophic situation, and the international community bears responsibility for the continuation of the closure for 14 years, due to its utter failure to take effective measures to end the closure, which encouraged Israel to act as a State above the law and to perpetrate further violations of international human rights law and humanitarian law;
  • Calls on the Palestinian government to create clear mechanisms for the relief of the Gaza Strip workers and expand the scope of support for workers affected by the pandemic, as the support should include all workers in all sectors, especially daily workers. Thus, we can ensure that workers enjoy a decent standard of living, and are able to provide their basic needs;
  • Calls upon the Palestinian government to find alternatives and solutions to help the affected workers; prominently the government should apply the Labor Law as a legal umbrella to preserve workers’ rights during these compelling circumstances; also, governmental support should be given to affected companies and institutions to be able to fulfill their duties towards their employees; and
  • Calls upon the Palestinian government to follow up on the commitment of private companies and institutions to paying workers’ wages during the lockdown, as stipulated in Article 38 of the Labor Law, which remains in force during the declared state of emergency, while underlining the importance of government support to affected companies and institutions to be able to fulfill their duties to their employees.

[1] Gaza – Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions data

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (03 – 09 December 2020)

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  • IOF shot and killed Palestinian, northeast of Ramallah
  • 19 Palestinian civilians wounded, including 6 childern, in IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem
  • 3 shootings reported at agricultural lands, and 3 others at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip
  • In 93 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 77 civilians arrested, including 7 children and a woman
  • IOF demolished and confiscated 10 barracks in Ramallah and Jericho and distributed 9 cease-construction notices in Hebron
  • 9,000 settlement units constructed on the land of Jerusalem International Airport in occupied East Jerusalem
  • Settler-attacks: an attempt to burn a church in occupied East Jerusalem and 90 trees cut and uprooted in Salfit
  • IOF established 61 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

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Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians. This week, in a new crime of excessive use of lethal force, IOF killed a Palestinian during the suppression of a peaceful protest in Ras al-Teen area near the eastern entrance to al-Mughayyir village, northeast of Ramallah. PCHR notes the recurrence of similar crimes, as PCHR’s staff documented the killing of 22 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children and a woman, by IOF since the beginning of 2020 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Also, PCHR’s fieldworkers monitored and documented IOF targeting of children during the suppression of protests and during incursions into the West Bank cities in recent weeks.

Furthermore, IOF demolitions of Palestinian homes and properties continued as part of Israel’s de facto annexation and under various pretexts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

IOF killed a Palestinian child and wounded 19 other civilians, including 6 children, in excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem. On 04 December 2020, ‘Ali Ayman Naser Abu ‘Alia (14) was killed and 4 other civilians were wounded during the suppressing of a peaceful protest in Ras al-Teen area near the eastern entrance to  al-Mughayyir village, northeast of Ramallah. IOF killed the child without any justification and without the presence of any threat to the soldiers’ lives.

Also, 2 civilians were wounded during IOF incursion into Nablus; 7 civilians wounded, including 2 children- one sustained wounds in his eye, in occupied East Jerusalem; 2 civilians wounded in Jericho; and 4 others wounded in Dheisheh camp in Bethlehem.

In the Gaza Strip, 3  IOF shootings were reported at agricultural lands, and 3 others at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 93 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.7During this week’s incursions, 77 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 children and a woman. It should be noted that the woman was arrested twice.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted a limited incursion into northern Gaza Strip.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 8 incidents, including:

  • Ramallah: 2 barracks demolished in Deir Dibwan village and another barrack confiscated in eastern al-Mughayyir village;
  • Tubas: 2 excavators confiscated in northern Jordan valleys;
  • Occupied East Jerusalem: 9,000 settlement units constructed on the land of Jerusalem International Airport (Qalandia);
  • Bethlehem: 180 olive trees uprooted in al-Khader village;
  • Jericho: 7 barracks confiscated;
  • Hebron: houses and barns served 9 cease-construction notices.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 4 settler-violence incidents: 80 olive trees cut in Yasuf village; 10 olive and fig trees uprooted in western Haris village in Salfit; and a settler attempted to burn the Gethsemane Church in the Mount of Olives area in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

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

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

  1. Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity
  • At approximately 00:00 on Thursday, 03 December 2020, IOF moved into Nablus, north of the West Bank, and stationed in the city’s eastern side. The IOF secured the entry of dozens of buses carrying settlers towards the Joseph’s tomb to perform prayers. Meanwhile, Palestinian young men gathered, set fire to tires and threw stones at IOF, who responded with rubber bullets and teargas canisters. As a result, 2 young men sustained rubber bullet wounds and received treatment at Rafidia Hospital. The wounded were: an 18-year-old male who was shot with a rubber bullet in his face, causing fractures in his teeth and mouth; and a 19-year-old male who was shot with a rubber bullet in his right foot. Also, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 08:00, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • In new crime of excessive use of lethal force, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) killed on Friday, 04 December 2020, a Palestinian child and wounded 4 other civilians during the suppression of a peaceful protest in Ras al-Teen area near the eastern entrance to al-Mughayyir village, northeast of Ramallah. The child died few hours after sustaining a live bullet in his abdomen without any justification or posing threat to the soldiers’ lives. According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 11:00 on Friday, a peaceful protest took off in the center of al-Mughayyir village, northeast of Ramallah, at the call of the villagers, towards lands under the threat of confiscation and in protest to the establishment of new settlement outposts in Ras al-Teen area near the eastern entrance to the village. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, settlers and annexation wall. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. Following the Friday prayer, the protestors chanted slogans again the Israeli occupation and settlers. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 4 civilians sustained rubber bullets wounds in their lower extremities and received treatment on the spot. At approximately 13:30, as the clashes were ongoing, Israeli soldiers shot at ‘Ali Ayman Naser Abu ‘Aliya (14), wounding him with a live bullet in his abdomen below the lung on the right side of his body. Abu ‘Aliya was immediately taken via a Palestinian Red Crescent Socitey (PRCS) ambulance to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah, where he underwent a surgery. At approximately 18:00 on the same day, medical sources pronounced him dead. The medical report showed that the bullet penetrated the liver and ruptured it.
  • At approximately 12:20, IOF suppressed a protest organized by dozens of Palestinian civilians in protest at lands confiscations in favor of settlement projects. IOF chased the protestors gathered in the area and clashed with them. During which, IOF fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many protestors sustained bruises.
  • At approximately 14:45, IOF stationed at Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing, northern Beit Hanoun, opened fire sporadically at adjacent border areas. Farmers were panicked due to the heavy shooting; no injuries or damage were reported.
  • At approximately15:45, IOF stationed north of al-Sifa area, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, causing fear among Palestinian civilians, who approached the fence, and forcing them to flee; no casualties or material damage were reported.
  • At approximately 16:00, a number of Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-Zawiyia area in the center of Hebron and threw stones at a military checkpoint established at the northern entrance to Hebron, so-called Checkpoint (56). IOF chased the Palestinian men in the village’s market and threw sound bombs and teargas canisters at the stone-throwers. As a result, many young men suffocated dye to teargas inhalation. IOF re-positioned behind the cement cubes placed in front of the checkpoint while the young men continued to throw stones at them. Meanwhile, a photojournalist working at Wafa News Agency, Mashhour Hasan al-Wahwah (37), was in the area to cover the clashes, but an Israeli soldier threatened him, prevented him from covering the clashes and denied his access to the area. Few hours later, IOF chased the young men again and al-Wahwah followed them. During which, an Israeli soldier approached al-Wahwah, shouted at him and cursed him. When al-Wahwah tried to talk with the soldier, the latter kicked him twice in his legs and ordered him to leave. Al-Wahwah tried to talk with the officer, who was on duty, but in vain. The clashes continued until 18:00; and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 23:00, Israeli gunboats stationed off al- al-Sudaniya Shore, northwest of Jabalia camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles and opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  •  At approximately 08:30 on Saturday, 05 December 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire in their direction, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 16:10 on Sunday, 06 December 2020, IOF stationed along the Gaza-Israel border fence, east of Khan Yunis, fired live bullets towards agricultural lands east of Khuzaʽa; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 20:30 on Sunday, 06 December 2020, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, closed the village’s main street and established checkpoints near al-Arba’een mosque in the center of the village and at the entrances to nearby neighborhoods. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones, fireworks and Molotov Cocktails at IOF, who chased the protestors and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, Omar Ahmed Khalil Mahmoud (16) was shot with a rubber bullet below his left eye while present in front of his house. He was then taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in West Jerusalem for treatment. It should be noted that Isawiya village has been the target of recurrent IOF incursions in the past year, where IOF carries out arrest campaigns against civilians under the pretext of being wanted persons, fire live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at Palestinian civilians and their houses and properties.

The wounded child Omar Mahmoud

  • At approximately 05:00 on Monday, 07 December 2020, a large Israeli force accompanied with dozens of Israeli soldiers and Special Forces moved into Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, where they raided and searched dozens of houses after blowing up their doors and causing fear among the inhabitants. During which, Palestinian young men gathered and threw empty bottles and Molotov Cocktails at IOF, who chased them on the village streets and fired heavy live bullets and sound bombs at them. As a result, 3 young men sustained gunshot wounds in their legs and received treatment at Beit Jala Hospital. Also, IOF arrested 4 civilians: Shehab Hasan Mezher (47), Mohammed Nedal Abu ‘Akar (27), and the siblings Mohammed (27) and Na’iem Abu ‘Akar (26).
  • At approximately 08:00, a large Israeli force accompanied with dozens of Israeli soldiers and Special Forces moved into Kalandia refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Khaled ‘Abed al-Raouf Hamad’s house and arrested his sons Mo’ath (26) and Mohammed (28), taking them to an unknown destination. In the meantime, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF and their vehicles. IOF chased the protestors on the village streets and fired heavy live bullets and teargas canisters at them. As a result, 5 civilians, including a child, were shot with live bullets and taken to the Palestine Medical Complex for treatment. The wounded were identified:
  1. ‘Ali Hasan ‘Abed al-Qader (16), who was shot with a live bullet in the chect;
  2. ‘Ali Khaled ‘Abed al-Raouf Hamad (24), who was shot with a live bullet in the abdomen;
  3. Mohammed Ibrahim Saleh ‘Ali, who was shot with a live bullet in the thigh;
  4. Ahmed ‘Abed al-‘Aziz al-Roum, who was shot with a live bullet in his foot; and
  5. Mohammed Ibrahim Khalil Nser, who was shot with a live bullet in the foot.
  • At approximately 14:45, IOF stationed at Kalandia military checkpoint, north of occupied East Jerusalem, opened fire at Mohammed Mazen Abu Laban (24), wounding him with live bullets. IOF claimed that Abu Laban attempted to carry out a stabbing-attack. Abu Laban was taken to Hadassah Hospital, where his health condition was classified as serious. According to a video recording, Abu Laban attempted to pass the checkpoint through the vehicles lane, which is forbidden to pedestrians, IOF warned him and then shot him. In the same context, Israeli media stated that the young man, who was wounded at the military checkpoint did not carry a weapon or a knife and IOF opened fire at him because he did not obey their orders. It should be noted that Abu Laban, Shabab al-Amari’s Football Club reserve goalkeeper, was heading to a match VS Jabel Mukaber team, which took place at Faisal al-Husseini Stadium in al-Ram village, north of occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 03:30 on Tuesday, 08 December 2020, IOF moved into Aqabat Jaber camp, southwest of Jericho. IOF were deployed in the camp, during which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF. Violent Clashes erupted between the protestors and IOF, who immediately fired teargas canisters, sound bombs and rubber bullets at the protestors. As a result, 2 civilians sustained sound bombs shrapnel wounds; the first was an 18-year-old male, who sustained shrapnel wounds in his abdomen while the second was a 24-year-old male, who sustained shrapnel wounds in his foot. Both of them received treatment on the spot. In the meantime, IOF raided and searched houses, from which they arrested Mohammed Akram al-Moqaiti (26), and the two siblings Yehia (20) and Yousef (18) Naseem al-Moqaiti.
  1. II. Incursions and arrests:

Thursday, 03 December 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-al-Mashrou’ area in al-Eizariya, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed al-Kalouni’s house and arrested his sons Samer (23) and Ibrahim (20).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Jadawil area in Beit Jala. They raided and searched Mohammed Naser Abu Sheikha’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 05:30, IOF moved into al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Oday Issam Abu Nassar (22) and Laith Kareem al-Atrash (18) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 05:30, IOF moved into al-Funduq area, east of Qalqilya, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ali Maher Taim (30).
  • At approximately 16:30, IOF stationed at al-Hamra military checkpoint in central valleys, north of the West Bank, arrested the two siblings Sanad (24) and Ali Sharif Ahmed Ali (26), from Jaba’ village, south of Jenin, taking them to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Yatta, Beit Ummar, and Beit ‘Amra villages in Hebron governorate; Qarawat Bani Zeid, northwest of Ramallah governorate; and Birzeit, north of Ramallah governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 04 December 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Issawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Wadea’ Dawoud Alian’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Burqa village, northwest of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Sa’eed Mohammed Hajja (38), and Abdul Halim Emad Daghlas (19).
  • At approximately 11:00, a group of Mista’arvim (Israeli Special Unit dressed like Palestinians) sneaked into southern Nablus. They used a white Mercedes bus, stationed on al-Ta’awon street, and surrounded a building belonging to al-Alfi family. Meanwhile, several military vehicles moved into the area coming from al-Tur mount, south of the city, to provide protection for the special unit. Before their withdrawal, IOF arrested Mo’ayad Nimir al-Alfi (47), claiming that he had been wanted for years ago, taking him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF arrested Mahmoud al-Jondi (28), after getting out from al-Aqsa Mosque through Bab Huta, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, taking him to a police station in the city.
  • At approximately 01:15, IOF moved into New Nablus, south of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They surrounded and stormed s house belonging to Emad Mohammed al-Shami (50), a Lieutenant in the Preventive Security Service, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF arrested Fathi Yassine Abu Srour (31), while present in Caritas area, north of Bethlehem, taking him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF arrested Belal Ju’aiwi (24), while riding his bicycle near Rachel’s Tomb, north of Bethlehem. IOF took him to an unknown destination.

Saturday, 05 December 2020:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Bab Huta neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Omar Mousa Ajlouni’s house and took his two sons Sufian (22) and Saif (19), to a police station in the city.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron. They raided and searched Ahmed Hamed al-Natsha’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 20:00, Israeli Intelligence Services arrested Mohammed Hamza Obaid (14), from al-Issawiya village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem, after investigating with him for several hours in al-Bareed police station in the city. Obaid’s arrest was extended for the next day.

At approximately 12:00, IOF arrested Hanadi Mohammed al-Halawani (42), while attempting to enter the Aqsa Mosque through Bab al-Asbat Minaret, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took her to al-Maskoubiya police station. Al-Halawani said that, in the morning, IOF summonsed her for investigation. At approximately 12:00, IOF arrested her near Bab al-Asbat, and investigated with her about the writing on her coat: wearing a coat written on it “Bab al-Rahma is Ours” and “al-Aqsa is a Belief”. When Handi denied the charge, the investigators attempted to pressurize her to sign a decision that ban her entry to the Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem’s Old City again, but she refused and preferred to be arrested and referred to the court rather than banning her from entering the abovementioned places. The Israeli Intelligence Services released her after threatened her to be arrested. It should be noted that IOF arrested the teacher, al-Halawani, after storming her house several times, and she was investigated several times and banned from entering the Aqsa Mosque for up to 14-months.

  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Beit Kahel, Yatta, Tarqumiyah, and Imreish, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.
  • Sunday, 06 December 2020:
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Omar Khalil Abu al-Hawa’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Sami Naji Nazzal (24).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Zeita, north of Tulkarm, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Rabah Abdul Fattah Libdi (30), who is a former prisoner.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Eyad Ali Irsheed’s (38) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF stationed at Huwara military checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Mohammed Nasr al-Dein Allan (36), who is a lawyer from Einabus village, southeast of Nablus.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into al-Issawiya, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Khaldoun Taha Dari’s (23) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into al-Wad neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Ra’fat Sameeh Najeeb’s (38) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Shadi Issa Ma’ali’s (40) house and arrested him. It should be noted that Ma’ali was arrested several times and served 12 years in the Israeli prisons on charge of belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and participating resisting the Israeli occupation.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya and Beita, southeast of Nablus; Sa’ir and al-‘Aroub refugee camp in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 07 December 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron, and stationed in Bab al-Zawiya. They opened the main door, raided and searched Irsheed Printing House that belongs to Jehad Hussain Irsheed, destroyed its contents, and confiscated some of Jehad’s children’s pictures, Oday and Dania, who were killed in the Israeli offensive of 2015.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Sheikh neighborhood in the southern area of Hebron. They raided and searched Mahmoud Hamdi Shabana’s (44) house and confiscated his laptop. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Azzun, east of Qalqilya, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Abdul Razzaq Emad Swaidan (17).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Nahalin, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Theib Abdul Hamid Najajera’s (58) house and arrested him. It should be noted that Najajera is a governmental teacher who served several years in the Israeli prisons.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into Kafr Thulth, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Adel Sameeh Shawahna (22) and Murad Ammar Shawahna (19).
  • At approximately 05:10, IOF moved into Kafr Ni’ma, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Riyad Ahmed Abdo’s (35) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF moved into al-Rashayida village, southeast of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Sa’eed Suliman Owda Fawarqa’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into Ras Khmis neighborhood in Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ahmed Mohammed Ali’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF arrested Hanadi Mohammed al-Halawani (42), while present near Bab Huta, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s gates. IOF took her to a police station in the Old City and interrogated her for several hours before she was released on a condition that she will be banned from entering the Aqsa Mosque for a week, and she will later return to receive a new 6-month ban.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Mohammed Waleed al-Rajabi’s (14) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF moved into Bab Huta, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Omar Mousa al-‘Ajlouni’s (51) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Beita, southeast of Nablus; Zububa, west of Jenin; Dura, Beit ‘Amra and al-Samu, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.
  • Tuesday, 08 December 2020:
  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into al-Issawiya village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Marwan Obaid’s house and arrested his sons; Omar (24) and Mohammed (20).
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Kahil, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Mahmoud Ra’ed Asafra’s (21) house and arrested him.

At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Za’tara village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Khaled Ibrahim Tafesh’s (55) house, who was a member in the dissolved Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), and handed his son, Mos’ab (28), a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services. It should be noted that Tafesh is a former prisoner who was arrested several times and spent 8-years in the Israeli prisons in separate periods; part of which was under the administrative arrest.

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Dahiya neighborhood, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Nidal Atef Abu Rmaila (49).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Harmala village, southeast of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Abdullah Awad Abayat (28), Isma’el Khalil al-Zeir (43), and Hamza Taleb Abu Dayya (20).
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron and stationed in al-Dahar, Safa, and Asida neighborhoods. They raided and searched three housesand arrested (3) civilians including two children; Majdi Mershed Za’aqiq (16), Ibrahim Rami Za’aqiq (16), and Obaida Ghazi ‘Aadi (29). IOF blew up the door of Ghazi’s house, while Ghazi’s wife was behind the door attempting to open it. As a result, Qamar Ahmed ‘Aadi (55) sustained several bruises.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into al-Judeida village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Sameh Hussam Abu Mariam (20).

At approximately 07:00, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint in the entrance of Susya village, north of Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They stopped the vehicles and checked the ID cards of the passengers. Meanwhile, IOF stopped a vehicle carrying the teachers of Susya Elementary School and arrested two of them: Amjad Badr Shraiteh (41) and Isma’il Ali Nawaj’a (44). Nisreen Nawaj’a, principal of Susya Elementary School, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “After arresting the two teachers, we decided to sit-in the checkpoint and refused to leave without Nawaj’a and Shraiteh, as we were suffering from various harassments for two weeks while passing through the abovementioned checkpoint. Sometimes, the teachers had to take dirt roads to reach the school; as they were not allowed to pass through that checkpoint under the pretext of security purposes, even though, the students joined in the sit-in until the IOF released the two teachers after an hour”.

  • At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Sami Mutair’s (32) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services on the next day.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF arrested Mo’ath Abu Arafa (32), while he was on duty in the occupied East Jerusalem. Abu Arafa was taken to one of the investigation centers in the city and interrogated for several hours about giving religious lessons at the Aqsa Mosque. IOF released him on condition that banning his entry to the Aqsa Mosque for a week and return for investigation after that period.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested Firas Khairy Katana (22), from al-Nazla al-Gharbiya, north of Tulkarm, while present near the border fence adjacent to Zeita village, north of Tulkarm. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out incursions in Nablus. no arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 09 December 2020:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Qarawat Bani Hassan, west of Salfit. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Laith Adnan Rayyan (25).
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into Deir al-Hatab village, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Salman Ahmed Emran (39).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Bal’a village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (7) former prisoners and released them later. The arrestees were: Mohammed Emad Barabra, Talal Abu Yassine, Ja’far Ayman Shahrour, Tha’er Rida Mer’i, Naser Khalil Abu Dayya, Atiya Wael Mahmoud, and Essam Ghazi Jitawi.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and neighborhoods and arrested (4) civilians: Kamel Jalal Nakhla (25), Maher Ayyoub Dalaisha (45), Ya’qoub Mostafa Hussain (27), and Fadi Nayef Alian (40). IOF released Nakhla and Dalaisha on the same day evening.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into Taqoa village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mahmoud Abu Mfarreh’s house and took his sons Ahmed (18) and Mohammed (17), to unknown destinations.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF reinforced with six military vehicles stationed in Abu Safiya Gate, northeast of Jabalya, north of the Gaza Strip, moved 100 meters to the north of the border fence with Israel. They levelled and combed lands that were previously levelled amidst sporadic shooting. At approximately 10:00, IOF withdrew, and no casualties were reported.
  • Also during the day, IOF conducted 8 incursions into Palestinian territory without any arrests reported: Jaba’, southern Jenin; Sebastia, northwestern Nablus; Shufa, Anabta, Deir al-Ghusun, Zeita and Far’un in Tulkarm.

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 03 December 2020, an Israeli force backed by several military vehicles and accompanied with a Civil Administration vehicle and a bulldozer stormed the eastern area of Deir Dibwan village, east of Ramallah. IOF bulldozer demolished 2 barracks built of steel pillars and tin plates on an area of 120 sqm, 2 tents, a tent used for storing animal feed built on an area of 40 sqm, a barn built on area of 200 sqm. All of these facilities were used for grazing sheep and owned by Atef Awawdah Shalabi, from Deir Dibwan village. IOF also dismantled 6 steel feeding and watering equipment and confiscated them. The demolition was under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (C).
  • At approximately 10:50 on Sunday, 06 December 2020, IOF stormed Atouf area, east of Tammun village, southeast of Tubas in northern valleys, north of the West Bank. IOF confiscated 2 diggers owned by Aman Rabah Gharib Bani Ouda and Diya’a Bani Ouda, from the abovementioned village. IOF confiscated the 2 diggers while both Ayman and Diya’a were paving an agricultural road in for the village’s council. Confiscation was under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (C).
  • On the same Sunday, the Organization and Construction Department at the Israeli Municipality in occupied Jerusalem announced approved construction of 9 thousand settlement units in “Atrout” settlement established on Qalandiya and Beit Hanina village’ lands, north of occupied East Jerusalem. According to the Israeli Civil Administration Commission, thousands of new settlement units will be constructed over 600 dunums in-lieu of Jerusalem’s abandoned international airport. IOF seized these lands in the 1970s. It should be noted that the Israeli settlement expansion plan in Atrout was laid out years ago, but it was frozen more than once due to international political pressures rejecting Israeli settlements in lands occupied in 1967. Jerusalem’s international airport was located on Qalandiya lands, north of occupied Jerusalem and it was the oldest airport in Palestine as it was constructed in 1920 during the British mandate of Palestine on an area of 650 dunums. Until the Israeli occupation in 1967, the airport was used for tourism and commercial purposes from and to Jerusalem before the outbreak of the Second Intifa in 2000.
  • On Monday morning, 07 December 2020, IOF uprooted hundreds of olive trees and grape vines after they leveled lands in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. Al-Khader Village’s Municipality said to PCHR’s fieldworker that IOF uprooted more than 30 olive seedlings after they leveled a land owned Yaseen Khader Essa, in Wadi al-Shami area. IOF also leveled a 6-dunums land in al-Absiya area in the abovementioned village owned by Rezeq Mohammed Husein Salah. Leveling the land led to uprooting 100 olive trees and 50 grapes seedlings. It should be noted that IOF lately committed many violations against Palestinian farmers in al-Khader village, including leveling and seizing lands, uprooting trees and preventing landowners from approaching them. These Israeli practices are in favor of settlement expansion activities.
  • At approximately 06:00 on Tuesday, 12 December 2020, IOF backed by several military vehicles and accompanied with Civil Administration vehicle and truck mounted crane stormed al-Qaboun area, east of Al-Mughayyir village, northeast of Ramallah. The area has been inhabited by a Bedouin community for 20 years. Israeli authorities brought workers from private companies and dismantled  and confiscated a barrack built of steel pillars and bricks on an area of 90 sq.m; it is owned  by Hasan Sueliman Abu al-Kabash, and used for grazing sheep. The demolition was under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (C) according to Oslo Accords.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 08 December 2020, IOF backed by several military vehicles and accompanied with Civil Administration vehicle, a truck mounted crane, and a bulldozer stormed al-Auja village, north of Jericho. IOF deployed in the area and surrounded it and brought workers from a private company; they dismantled and confiscated 7 under-construction barracks built of steel pillars and bricks (uninhabited). One of these barracks was used to  store barley and wheat crops for feeding sheep and livestock. The bulldozer also confiscated crops. The demolition and confiscation were under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (C). The demolition details were as follows:
Affected personfacility
Mohammed Yaseen Mousa RashaidahUnder-construction barrack built of steel pillars and bricks on an area of 70 sqm.
Zawada Suleiman Saleem Abu Khraish Under-construction barrack built of steel pillars and bricks on an area of 70 sqm.
Farea Yaseen RshaidahUnder-construction barrack used for grazing sheep and livestock built of steel pillars and bricks on an area of 30 sqm
Khalaf Fares RashaidahUnder-construction barrack used for grazing sheep and livestock built of steel pillars and bricks on an area of 30 sqm
Sulieman Dawoud Tarif al-ZayedA barrack built of bricks and steel used to store on an area of 200 sqm
Hani Ata Dawoud al-ZayedUnder-construction barrack used for grazing sheep and livestock built of steel pillars and bricks on an area of 30 sqm
Ata Daoud Tarif al-ZayedUnder-construction barrack built of bricks and steel on an area of 80 sqm
  • At the same time, IOF backed by several military vehicles and accompanied with Civil Administration vehicle and a truck mounted crane stormed Khirbat al-Simia, west of as-Samu village, south of Hebron. The soldiers deployed in the area while the Civil Administration officers dismantled a barrack built of bricks on an area of 100 sqm, used for grazing sheep and it is owned by Riyad Abdul Karim Ghayad al-Salamin. Before IOF withdrew from the area, the Civil and Administration officer handed al-Salamin a paper of the confiscated items. Israeli authorities also handed al-Salamin a notice called “stop destruction of archeological sites” on 11 December 2020.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Wednesday, 09 December 2020, IOF backed by several military vehicles and accompanied with Civil Administration vehicle stormed Khirbat al-Jawaya, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Civil Administration officer fixed a number of notices a notice to stop construction works at residents and livestock barns under the pretext of illegal construction and gave them until 30 December 2020, to submit the required legal document before the Committee at the Civil Administration. The notices were as follows:
Affected personfacilityAreaConstruction yearDescription of constructionFundingFamily membersChildrenNotice No.Financial costConstruction
Ahmed Hammad Mohammed Nawaja’aWater well160sqm2005A holeorganization6331141
Ahmed Hammad Mohammed Nawaja’ahouse310sqm2018Under constructionpersonal643114380cement
Ra’ef Kahlid Mohammed Nawaj’a3 houses200sqm2020Under constructionpersonal4231140cement
Essa Mohammed Husein Shawahintent50sqm2020Construction completepersonal11931142Tent
Mousa Hasan Husein Shawahinbarn60sqm2019Construction completedpersonal6431144 Cement
Moamed Ahmed Mahmoud ShawhinA house40sqm2019Under constructionpersonal4231146200,00cement
Adham Ahmed Mahmoud ShahinA house100sqm2019Under constructionpersonal4231148120,000cement
Mohammed Ali Mohammed HuseinA house100sqm2019Under constructionpersonal4231148120,000bricks
Ayed Eyada ShawahinLivestock barrack60sqm2018Construction completepersonal84206751bricks

Khirbat al-Jawaya is located in eastern Yatta, south of Hebron and inhabited with 300 persons, who work in agriculture and the construction sector. This area is located in Area (C) according to the Oslo Accords. At the southern and eastern outskirts of the Khirbah, we find the Bypass Raod (60) and “Ma’on” settlement a mere one kilometer away. IOF’s settlement expansion activities on Palestinians’ lands, resident of Khirbat al-Jawaya are unable to conduct any construction in the area.

Israeli Settlers’ Attacks

  • At approximately 11:30 on Thursday, 03 December 2020, a group of Israeli settlers from Taffuh settlement established at lands of Yasouf village, east of Salfit, uprooted 42 olive trees in al-Karm eastern area, southeast of Yasouf village, using electric equipment. The land is owned by brothers Shaher and Ali Mohammed Theeb Yaseen.

Ali Theeb Yaseen said to PCHR’s fieldworker that his eldest son headed to al-Karm eastern area, east of the city to check on the olive trees planted a month ago. He found the fence cut off and olive trees uprooted as settlers uprooted 42 olive trees from his land and 13 olive trees from his Brother’s land.

  • At approximately 14:20 on Friday, 04 December 2020, an Israeli settler stormed the Church of all Nations or Basilica of the Agony located at Mount of Olives, east of occupied East Jerusalem, and attempted to set fire into it before the church’s guards and the area residents interfered. They extinguished the fire and caught the settler and handed him to the Israeli police.

According to the church’s guard, Fadi al-Moghrabi, a settler poured diesel and attempted to set fire into some seats in the church. However, some civilians intervened and prevented him. Al-Moghrabi emphasized that fire caused damage to some seats and the floor.

The Israeli police also announced that they detained an Israeli (49), who lives in Jerusalem and attempted to set fire to the Basilica of the Agony in occupied East Jerusalem by pouring a flammable liquid inside it, causing damage.

According to the spokesperson of the Fire Department, 4 crews arrived at the place; luckily, the fire did not spread throughout the church, but it was full of smoke. It should be noted that the Church of all Nations or Basilica of the Agony is located at the Mount of Olive in Jerusalem near “Gethsemane” Garden and it was built above the rock where Christians believe that Jesus prayed before his arrest and crucifixion. It is noteworthy that the church was built between 1919 and 1924 and funded by several countries. The church is distinguished by its facade as it is backed by a row of pillars and a mosaic painting on its top that symbolically portrays Jesus as the link between God and mankind.

  • On Saturday morning, 05 December 2020,  a group of Israeli settlers from “ Rahalim settlement” established on Yasouf village lands, east of Salfit, cut off 38 olive trees in al-Mahawer area, southeast of Yasouf area using an electric saw. The land is owned by Rajeh and Reda Mahmoud Atiyani.

Rajeh Atiyani said to PCHR’s fieldworker: “When I headed to my land at 08:30 on Saturday morning to spray pesticides, I found  that 38 olive trees were cut off from my land and 16 others were cut off  from my brother’s land as settlers used an electric saw to cut the trees. Rajeh emphasized that his land was attacked several times before.

  • At approximately 08:30 on Monday, 07 December 2020, a group of Israeli settlers from “Revava” settlement established at lands of Haris village, north of Salfit, uprooted 10 olive trees at Khelat Abu al-Ola area, west of Haris village. The land is owned by heirs of Ya’qoub Ouda Hasan Sultan.

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

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

The West bank:

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals 61 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 4 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against

Individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

  • At approximately 14:40 on Monday, 07 December 2020, IOF closed Qalandiya military checkpoint, north of occupied East Jerusalem after they opened fire a Palestinian civilian at the checkpoint and later reopened it.
  • On the same day, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrances to ‘Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.
  • On Tuesday, 08 December 2020 IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to ‘Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 03 December 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, and under al-Khader village’s bridge, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Friday, 04 December 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, and near al-Nashash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Saturday, 05 December 2020, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, the western entrance to Husan village, near al-Nashash intersection, near Deir Salah village’s bridge, and at Aqabat Hasnah area leading to villages west of Bethlehem.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 03 December 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho. IOF continued establishing checkpoint until Sunday, 06 December 2020, as soldiers searched civilians’ vehicles and checked their ID cards.
  • On Sunday, 06 December 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrane to Beit Jala, Jannata, Jab’a villages, near Deir Salah village’s bridge, east of Bethlehem.
  • On Monday, 07 December 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, the entrance to Marah Rabah village, at Aqabat Hasna area, leading to villages, west of Bethlehem.
  • On Tuesday, 08 December 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, and the entrances to Nahalin and Wadi Rehal villages.

Nablus:

  • On Friday, 04 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection to Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village, branching from Ramallah – Nablus Street, southeast of Nablus.
  • On Saturday, 05 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at entrance to Asira ash-Shamaliya village, north of Nablus.
  • On Monday, 07 December 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Beita village, al-Marba’a area near the entrance to Tal village, and at Nablus – Jenin main road, northwest of Nablus.

Jenin:

  • On Friday, 04 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Silat ad-Dhahr village, southwest of Jenin.
  • On Monday, 07 December 2020, IOF established2 checkpoints at the entrance to Jalamah village, and at the intersection of Arraba village.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 03 December 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to: Al Aroub refugee camp, Sa’ir village’s northern entrance, and Halhoul southern entrance.
  • On Friday, 04 December 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Ash-Shuyukh village, and Beit Ummar village.
  • On Saturday, 05 December 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to:  Beit Awwa, Bani Na’im, and Surif villages.
  • On Sunday, 06 December 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Fawwar refugee camp, Ash-Shuyukh, Beit Ummar and Beit Awwa villages.
  • On Monday, 07 December 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at: Fawwar refugee camp, Ash-Shuyukh, Beit Ummar, and Beit Awwa villages.
  • On Tuesday, 08 December 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at Hebron’s southern entrance, and Halhoul’s southern entrance.
  • On Wednesday, 09 December 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at Halhoul’s northern entrance, Hebron’s southern entrance, Al Aroub refugee camp, and Susya village.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 03 December 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints between Jayyous and Azzun villages, and at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.
  • On 04 December 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at under the bridge of Azzun village, at the entrance to Jit village, and the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.
  • On Tuesday, 08 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Izbat at-Tabib village, east of Qalqilya.

Salfit:

  • On Thursday, 03 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection to Kifl Haris village, west of Salfit.
  • On Friday, 04 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at northern entrance to Salfit.
  • On Tuesday, 08 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit.

Israel’s Honeymoon with the United Arab Emirates Is Grotesque

By Belén Fernández

Global Research,

December 10, 2020Jacobin 7 December 2020

Since normalizing relations in September, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have teamed up to do what both do best: trample on democratic freedoms, commit atrocities, and whitewash occupation.

***

Back in 2010, the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman issued the following complaint: “Destructive critics dismiss Gaza as an Israeli prison, without ever mentioning that had Hamas decided — after Israel unilaterally left Gaza — to turn it into Dubai rather than Tehran, Israel would have behaved differently, too.”

Never mind that Israel never “left” Gaza — or that even if Hamas had managed to transform the diminutive Palestinian coastal enclave into the capital of Iran, international law would not have authorized the Israelis to then convert it into the “world’s largest open-air prison.” It’s also unclear how any territory could be turned into Dubai while under siege and frequent bombardment, or how Gazans would go about building malls with ski slopes — or building anything, for that matter — when Israel intermittently blocks construction materials from coming into the narrow strip of land.

Now, courtesy of the September normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates — the culmination of a long-standing clandestine love affair — it seems the Palestinians will finally get to experience a taste of Dubai. (And Emirati alcohol consumers will get a taste of Israeli-made wine from the illegally occupied Golan Heights.)

In a recent CNN dispatch titled “The UAE and Israel’s whirlwind honeymoon has gone beyond normalization,” correspondent Ben Wedeman writes of the “mutual enthusiasm” infecting the Israeli government and the federation of Arab sheikhdoms, so much so that the UAE “appears to have dropped, in practical terms, any objections to Israel’s occupation of Arab lands.” That’s no accident. Disappearing the occupation is a primary function of normalization, fitting right in with the Friedmanite approach to Middle East peace, which posits that, if the Palestinians would just stop bitching about being occupied and massacred and get on with their lives, they, too, could be Dubai — the equivalent of telling a person in a burning house to simply ignore the flames.A Special Relationship Born in Hell: The US Should Cut all Ties with War Criminal Israel

Wedeman catalogues the perks of the overzealous Emirati-Israeli honeymoon: mutual visa exemption, the aforementioned wine, an excursion to the UAE by Israeli settler leaders from the West Bank, direct flights between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi scheduled to start early next year, and an arrangement where the UAE will “finance with the US and Israel a project to ‘modernize’ Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank used to control and monitor the movement of Palestinians.”

Presumably, “modernization” does not mean that Israeli soldiers will stop beatingkilling, detaining, and otherwise abusing Palestinians at checkpoints. But perhaps the Emiratis can help install state-of-the-art mobile maternity wards to deal with the Palestinian women forced to give birth there.

To be sure, it’s not like the checkpoints aren’t “modern” enough already. As NBC News reported last year, Microsoft has “invested in a startup that uses facial recognition to surveil Palestinians throughout the West Bank, in spite of the tech giant’s public pledge to avoid using the technology if it encroaches on democratic freedoms.”

That’s no turnoff for the UAE, where democratic freedoms are entirely absent and the slightest criticism of the government is grounds for detentiontorture, or disappearance. And what do you know: Emirati-Israeli collaboration regarding surveillance far predated the official unveiling of amorous bilateral relations. In 2015, a Middle East Eye article quoted a description of Abu Dhabi’s Israeli-installed mass civil spying system: “Every person is monitored from the moment they leave their doorstep to the moment they return to it. Their work, social and behavioral patterns are recorded, analyzed and archived.”

Call it modern barbarism — a right-wing neoliberal dream where basic rights are supplanted by skyscrapers, artificial islands, the annual Dubai Shopping Festival, and other distracting obscenities built on the backs of a migrant work force toiling in “virtual slavery.”

For their normalization efforts, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Perverse, unless you recall that former US president Barack Obama, the man who ordered the dropping of at least 26,171 bombs on seven Muslim-majority countries in 2016 alone, also received the prize. “Peace,” meanwhile, is not currently an option for Palestinians, Yemenis, and other regional inhabitants whose lives are sacrificed in the interest of arms industry profits and similar fixtures of “modernity” — all with US backing, and an imperial narrative that insists Iran is the one causing all the trouble.

So the honeymooners are getting off scot-free, whether for killing 2,251 people in Gaza in a matter of fifty days or for helping oversee the sexual torture of Yemeni detainees and mass starvation of Yemeni children as part of the Saudi-led coalition. And as normalization forges ahead, it’s nothing short of terrifying that anyone finds this normal.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Belén Fernández is the author of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at WorkMarytrs Never Die: Travels through South Lebanon, and, most recently, Exile: Rejecting America and Finding the World. She is a contributing editor at Jacobin.

Featured image is from DesertpeaceThe original source of this article is JacobinCopyright © Belén FernándezJacobin, 2020

From Turtle Island to Palestine: There is No Going Back to “Normal”

December 8, 2020

Gaza authorities are desperately trying to contain the spread of the COVID-19 disease.(Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Benay Blend

Shortly before Thanksgiving social media was abuzz with news that President-Elect Joe Biden had conferred with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden over what measure to take regarding the Coronavirus crisis in the States. At the time of their conversation, New Zealand had just 58 active cases of the virus, all in managed isolation facilities. Moreover, because of strict lockdowns, it had recorded just over 2000 cases and 25 deaths. In contrast, over 255,000 lives have been lost in the United States, where new restrictions do not match New Zealand’s lockdown.

“I offered to him and his team access to New Zealand health officials in order to share their experience on things we’ve learnt on our Covid-19 journey,” Ardern said, but she cautioned that replicating the nation’s model everywhere may not be possible.

“While New Zealand has a number of natural advantages that have assisted us in managing the virus,” she explained, “I do absolutely believe that international cooperation continues to be key to getting the virus under control and we are happy to work with any country to share our knowledge and data if it’s helpful.”

It’s good that Biden is opening channels for communication that Trump preferred to close. Nevertheless, there is more to do than just the immediate problem of containing a virus that exposed all of the country’s preexisting problems.

Without those extra measures it will be pandemic redux the next time that there is a crisis. For the United States and for Palestine, both internally and in relationship with each other, there never was a “normal” which reflected models of social justice.

“Our country needs to get it together and start taking care of its people during a pandemic,” explains Rep. Rashida Tlaib. “There is no vaccine that will cure the economic hardship that COVID-19 has caused our communities.”

Perhaps the most important idem post-Covid idem will be healthcare. Writing for Black Agenda Report, Margaret Flowers warns that in a time of rising unemployment in which workers are losing, too, their healthcare, anything less than universal healthcare is unacceptable.

“In a time of the COVID-19 pandemic when over 250,000 people have already died and the University of Washington predicts  over 500,000 deaths by the end of February,” writes Flowers, “we cannot allow a repeat of the failed ACA [Affordable Care Act].” Since its inception, she points out, health insurance and pharmaceutical corporate profits have risen while people still cannot afford to pay for healthcare.

Moreover, Flowers writes, the “racist roots of healthcare in this country run as deep as the slavery underpinnings of policing.”  There is no vaccine, however, to end police shootings of civilians, in particular the poor and people of color. For example, I live in New Mexico, a state with a liberal governor, yet the police recently murdered Rodney Applewhite, a young black man who was simply traveling through on his way to visit his mother.

“The community has a right to know what happened to Rodney,” said Selinda Guerrero, who belongs to the two groups–Building Power for Black New Mexico and Millions for Prisoners New Mexico—responsible for organizing a protest on November 4th in Santa Fe. “We have a right to know, and transparency has not happened yet. [New Mexico State Police] have not revealed what happened to Rodney on the side of that rural highway.”

It is no coincidence that Palestinians suffer, too, at the hands of Israeli police, as almost every time a shooting makes news here there is a similar instance there. On November 4th, not long after Applewhite’s death, Israeli occupation forces murdered 13-year-old Ali Ayman Abu-Alayya while he was participating in a peaceful anti-settlement protest.

Not only do Palestinians endure the same restrictions as the poor and people of color in the US—lack of adequate health care and compensation for paychecks lost while sick, not to mention unemployment—they are doing so under the added layer of the occupation.

Writes Yumna Patel: “It’s become increasingly clear that the last two months of 2020 aren’t going to be as easy as we thought — in Palestine, or anywhere else.”

Without an end to the occupation, the outlook for 2021 does not bode well. Apparently, Israel has agreed to transfer millions of doses of COVID-19 treatment to Palestinian medical workers in the coming weeks. Even so, there is no vaccine to take the place of resistance as it is the only cure for the Occupation.

There is no remedy for the violence of settler-colonial regimes, whether in Palestine or the United States, except for world-wide decolonial movements. Moreover, as Ramzy Baroud explains,

“Any solidarity that deviates from the current aspirations of Palestinians – as articulated by their fighting women and men, by their prisoners on hunger strikes, by their students fighting for the right to education, by these resilient, but often neglected voices – is not true solidarity.”

Writing for Adalah Justice Project, Sumaya Awad and Sandra Tamari warn that “if we limit our demands to what is pragmatic or politically expedient, our movements for justice will always fall short. Let’s dream bigger than what the Democratic Party is selling as progress. Let’s collectively demand the world we know is possible, one where oppressed peoples, from Palestine to Kashmir to Flint, rise up to take control of their own lives.”

In a post-Covid world, there will be no change from above, as President-elect Joe Biden has surrounded himself with old-guard politicians devoted to maintaining the status quo, whether it be national healthcare, support for Israel, prison abolition, or all of the other fault lines exposed by the Coronavirus.

– Benay Blend earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly works include Douglas Vakoch and Sam Mickey, Eds. (2017), “’Neither Homeland Nor Exile are Words’: ‘Situated Knowledge’ in the Works of Palestinian and Native American Writers”. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

‘In My Heart, I am a Palestinian‘: Palestine Mourns Legendary Footballer Diego Armando Maradona

November 25, 2020

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

The 20th century’s greatest footballer, Diego Armando Maradona, died in San Andrés, Argentina, at the age of 60. The Argentine Football Association reported that the cause of death was cardiac arrest.

Maradona has been struggling with various health crises in recent years, the most recent of which was earlier this month when he reportedly suffered from a brain hemorrhage. 

Maradona’s fans around the world expressed their shock and deep sadness for his passing. Palestinians were not an exception. However, for Palestinian football fans, Maradona represented more than a mere player, arguably the best in the world. He was something else entirely. 

“In Palestine, you cannot hate Maradona. Your only option is to love him and you couldn’t have any negative opinion about him,” Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud said. “Maradona inspired something in us as a collective – a man of small built, from a terribly poor background, brown like us, fiery like us and passionate like us, making his way to the top of the world. For us, it was not about football or sports. It was about hope. It felt as if anything was possible.”

“You can only imagine our excitement when we learned that Maradona cared for Palestine, and made many gestures in support of our struggle. Our joy was complete. Indeed, until the very end, he took moral stances for Palestine, affirming, once more, in July 2018 that ‘In my heart, I am a Palestinian,” Baroud added.

The statement of solidarity was communicated then to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. However, this was not the only instance in which Maradona was vocal in his support of the Palestinian cause.

For example, in 2012, Maradona described himself as “the number one fan of the Palestinian people .. I respect them and sympathize with them.” 

During the Israeli war on Gaza in the summer of 2014, Maradona expressed his outrage. “What Israel is doing to the Palestinians is shameful,” he said in a statement. 

Also, in that same year, media reports spoke of negotiations between the Palestinian Football Association and the Argentinian football legend, who was rumored to be the next coach of the Palestinian national team during the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. 

“Growing up in Gaza, we loved Maradona. In fact, personally, I loved and played football because of him. Whenever he played, whether for Argentina, Napoli or other teams, we would drop everything and gather in front of our small black and white television set to watch him play,” Baroud said. 

In Palestine, we share the struggles of all oppressed, working-class people everywhere, and, in turn, we say ‘In our collective Palestinian heart, we are Argentinians; we Are South Americans,” Baroud added.  

“Thank you, Maradona. You will forever represent something beautiful in all of us.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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

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05 – 11 November 2020

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

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

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

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

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 7 incidents, including:

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

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

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

II. Incursions and arrests:

Thursday, 05 November 2020:

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

Friday, 06 November 2020:

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

Saturday, 07 November 2020:

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

Sunday, 08 November 2020:

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 09 November 2020:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 10 November 2020:

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

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

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

Wednesday, 11 November 2020:

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

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

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israeli Settlers’ Attacks

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

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

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

The West bank:

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

Individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

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

Bethlehem:

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

Ramallah:

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

Tubas:

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

Jericho:

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

Nablus:

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

Jenin:

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

Hebron:

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

Qalqilya:

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

Tulkarm:

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

Salfit:

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

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (29 Oct. 04 Nov. 2020)

Source

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (29 Oct. 04 Nov. 2020)

29 October – 04 November 2020

  • In 82 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 57 civilians arrested, including 7 children, 2 women and a journalist
  • Collective punishment policy: IOF demolished family home of Palestinian imprisoned by Israel
  • IOF demolished 70 homes and facilities, displacing 60 Palestinians; and confiscated tractors and other properties in the northern Jordan valleys
  • Settler-attacks: trees and electric poles cut; irrigation system destroyed in Nablus
  • IOF established 47 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 6 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians. This week, IOF and Israeli police assaulted several Palestinian civilians in excessive use of force. IOF also continued to create new facts on the ground by maintaining its policy of demolishing, confiscating and razing Palestinian houses and properties for its settlement expansion schemes in the West Bank. This week, Kherbet Hemsa al-Foqa in the northern Jordan valleys witnessed a destruction campaign against its Palestinian community that displaced dozens of civilians. Also, Israeli settlers continued to assault Palestinian farmers and agricultural lands.

This week, PCHR documented 151 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt. It should be noted that the limitations due to the corona virus pandemic, has limited PCHR’s fieldworkers mobility and ability to conduct field documentation; therefore, the information contained in this report are only part of the continued IOF violations.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

Six Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, sustained wounds in IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank: 3 children, one classified in critical condition, were wounded after IOF targeted their vehicle in Jenin; another child sustained wounds in clashes in Hebron; meanwhile, 2 other civilians were wounded in IOF suppression of Kafr Qaddum – Qalqilya weekly protest against settlement expansion.

In the Gaza Strip, two IOF shootings were reported at agricultural lands eastern Khan Younis; and four other shooting incidents against fishing boats off Gaza’s northern sea.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 82 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, 57 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 children and 2 women. In Gaza, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern Central Gaza.

Collective Punishment Policy:

Israeli occupation forces continue to practice its collective punishment policy against the families of Palestinians accused of being involved in acts of resistance against IOF or settlers. On Sunday evening, 01 November 2020, IOF demolished Khalil Abdul Khaliq Mohammed Dwaikat’s family home in Rujeib, southeastern Nablus, northern West Bank. Dwaikat is currently imprisoned by Israel.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 5 violations, including:

  • Ramallah: verbal notice to the new temporary offices of the Military Medical Services’ Rescue and Emergency HQ in al-Bireh, under the pretext of being in area C.
  • Hebron: under-construction house demolished, and 8 cease-construction notices served to shelters and a water well.
  • Tubas: 9 tractors, 5 water tanks, 5 carts and 2 private vehicles confiscated; 70 homes and facilities demolished, displacing 60 civilians (mostly children): 11 residential tents, 27 barracks, some used for housing, and several barns, as well as, kitchens, mobile-lavatories, water tanks and other properties. IOF also confiscated two tractors and a private Subaru car.
  • East Jerusalem: house demolished, and a barracks used as a stable.

Settler-attacks: PCHR documented 3 separate settler attacks: electric poles cut, irrigation system destroyed, plantation raided and damaged in As-Sawiya town; olive trees cut, and piece of land fenced with barbed wire near “Yitzhar” settlement, in Nablus.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

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

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

  1. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
  • At approximately 08:20 on Thursday, 29 October 2020, IOF stationed inside the Gaza – Israel border fence, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at the adjacent agricultural lands in eastern Khuza’a. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 15:50, IOF gunboats stationed off al-Waha area, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles, opened heavy fire and pumped water at them, causing fear and panic among them and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF stationed behind a truck parked on the roadside of Jenin-al-Nasrah Street, north of Jenin, opened fire at a passing white Palestinian Hyundai car traveling towards Jenin.  As a result, 3 children, who were in the car and are all from Jenin refugee camp, were injured.  The car driver, who was not injured, did not stop and continued driving to Dr. Khalil Soliman Governmental Hospital in Jenin, where doctors found out that Mahmoud Ahmed Mousa Khalil Halayjah (15) was injured with a bullet that penetrated his back and punctured his lungs.  Halayjah was classified as critical, and he was referred to An-Najah  Hospital in Nablus for treatment.  Regarding the other 2 injuries, one (15) sustained a shrapnel wound to the back while the other (17) sustained shrapnel wounds to the head.  Later, IOF claimed that they opened fire at the car because a homemade pipe bomb was thrown from it at an Israeli force stationed on the bypass road.  However, the injured children refuted the Israeli claims according to the statement made by one of them to PCHR fieldworker.
  • At approximately 07:15 on Friday, 30 October 2020, IOF stationed inside the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at the agricultural lands, east of Khuza’a, adjacent to the border fence.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00, villagers from Beit Dajan village, northeast of Nablus, and representatives of the National Action Factions in Nablus organized a peaceful protest, which started from the village council heading to the lands under threat of confiscation in al-Marhan and al-Masyaf areas, northeast of the village.  The protesters raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, settlers, annexation wall and the Deal of Century.  When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. IOF suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at the “northern entrance” established on Kafr Qaddum lands, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest organized by dozens of Palestinian civilians. IOF chased the young men, who gathered in the area and clashed with them, firing live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, a 24-year-old civilian was injured with a rubber bullet in the hand.
  • Following the Friday Prayer at al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, IOF suppressed a mass protest against the caricatures insulting Prophet Muhammad.  They assaulted the protesters and arrested 3 civilians, including a photojournalist.

According to PCHR’s follow-up, thousands of worshippers gathered in al-Qibli Chapel yard at al-Aqsa Mosque, and chanted Takbirs (Allahu Akbar: a common Islamic Arabic expression meaning God is Great) and slogans against the cartoons insulting Prophet Muhammad.  They made their way to the Rock of the Dome yard and reached the Council Door.  As they were exiting al-Aqsa, IOF surrounded and assaulted them, attempting to obstruct their way.  IOF repeated the assault against protesters on al-Wad Street, closed the area with iron barriers, and forcibly dispersed them.  In this incident, IOF arrested 3 civilians and took them to the detention facilities.  The arrestees were identified as ‘Abdel ‘Afo Bassam Zaghir (28), a photojournalist, Ahmed Idkeik (20), and Sameh D’eis (41).

  • At approximately 17:30, 3 Israeli soldiers physically assaulted (punched and kicked) Mohammed ‘Aref Mohammed Jaber (17) near his house in Jaber neighborhood, east of al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron’s Old City. Jaber’s family tried to rescue him, but the soldiers took him to a military SUV stationed in the area.  He was then taken “Kiryat Arba” settlement, east of Hebron. According to Jaber’s father, the soldiers assaulted his son after settlers attacked him.  He added that when his family were trying to keep the soldiers away from his son, a soldier struck his wife on the face.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Saturday, 31 October 2020, IOF prevented farmers from Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, from harvesting the olive trees in their lands in Abu al-Reesh area near “Beit Ein” settlement.  IOF fired teargas canisters at the farmers while being in their agricultural fields.  As a result, a number of farmers suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 15:00 on Saturday, 31 October 2020, Palestinian young men gathered in al-Zawiyah Gate area in central Hebron and threw stones at the military checkpoint established at the entrance to the closed Shuhadaa’ Street. IOF chased the stone-throwers on Wad al-Tofah Street and in the Clock Tower area and fired sound bombs and teargas canisters.  As a result, many civilians in the market suffocated due to teargas inhalation and shops had to close.  The clashes continued until 18:00; during which, IOF fired rubber bullets, wounding a 14-year-old child with a bullet in the right foot.  He was taken to Hebron Governmental Hospital for medical treatment. 
  • At approximately 16:30 on Saturday, 31 October 2020, IOF stationed at the “northern entrance” established on Kafr Qaddum lands, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest organized by dozens of Palestinian civilians. IOF chased the young men, who gathered in the area and clashed with them, firing live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, a 45-year-old civilian was injured with a rubber bullet in the lower back.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF gunboats stationed off al-Waha area, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles, opened heavy fire at them and sound bombs around them, causing fear and panic among fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Monday afternoon, 02 November 2020, Israeli police officers assaulted Zakaria Mohammed Ibrahim (52) from Biddya village, west of Salfit, after chasing and detaining him on al-Kassarat road in Jamma’in village, south of Nablus.

Zakaria Ibrahim said that:

“While on my way to work in al-Kassarat area, I was surprised with Israeli police officers chasing me.  When I stopped, the armed police officers got out of the car, forcibly took me out my car, and started beating me until I fainted.  A Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulance took me to Yasser ‘Arafat Governmental Hospital in Salfit.  All of this happened in full view of the Magen David Adom (MDA) crews, who were in the area.  When I woke up at the hospital, I learnt that I was given a ticket.”

  • At approximately 15:30 on Monday, Israeli naval forces stationed at sea off the Gaza northern seashore, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing at 3 nautical miles; they opened heavy fire at them causing fear and panic among the fishermen, who fled the area and no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 18:40 on Tuesday, 03 November 2020, Israeli naval forces stationed at sea off the Gaza northern seashore, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing at 3 nautical miles; they opened heavy fire at them causing fear and panic among the fishermen, who fled the area and no casualties were reported.

II. Incursions and Arrests

Thursday, 29 October 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into the eastern area of Nablus, north of the West Bank, and stationed in “Joseph Tomb” area to secure the entry of dozens of settlers to the Tomb. The settlers prayed then IOF secured their withdrawal.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Wadi Abu Freiha in Beit Sahour. They raided and searched Tareq Mousa al-‘Abayat’s (38) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Tabaqa village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Hesham Ismael Abu Hawash’s (39) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Al-Fawagrah Lane, in Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Tal’at al-Khatib’s (27) house and arrested him. It should be noted that the abovementioned civilian is Dawoud al-Khatib’s brother, the prisoner who was dead at Ofer prison due to heart attack on 03 September 2020.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Marah Rabah village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to the two former prisoners Anwar Ahmed al-Faqih (40) and Khalil Qasem al-Sheikh (42) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Mahmoud Abu al-Hawa (17) and Haitham Naseem Abu Khwais (17) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:20, IOF moved into Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mohammed Ziyad al-Sa’di (20), Ahmed Hussam Abu Tabeekh (21), and Abdullah Burhan Abdul Haleem (19).
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into Wadi al-Joz neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Fadi Abdullah Mtawar’s (41) house and arrested him. IOF released him after several hours on a 7,000 NIS bail and house arrest for 5 days and ordered him to return to the investigation center at a later time.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Saleh Abu Akar (24), from Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, while passing through a temporary military checkpoint near Gush Etzion settlement, south of Bethlehem. IOF severely beat him, and he was taken to Hadassah Hospital in West Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 13:30, IOF arrested Jehad Naser Qaws (26), while present near Bab al-Sahera area, in the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF severely beaten him and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into Sur Baher neighborhood, south of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Eyad Mohammed Atoun’s (47) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in al-Maskoubeya investigation center in West Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF arrested Mahmoud Ashraf Obaid (16), from al-Isawiya village, while present in Bab al-‘Amoud area in the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF severely beaten him and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF stationed at the northern entrance of Kifl Haris village, north of Salfit, arrested Emad Mahmoud al-Qaq (17), and took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (7) incursions in Halhul, al-Thahiriya village in Hebron governorate, Atel, Tulkarm, and Balaa villages in Tulkarm governorate, Qalqilya and Jayyous, north of Qalqilya. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 30 October 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Hadab village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Mahmoud Yousef al-‘Arjan’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron. They raided and searched Bassam Ahmed al-Qawasma’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Azzun village, east of Qalqiliya. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Osama Mohanna Mish’al (20), and Ibrahim Mohammed Emran (20).
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Bashar Najeeb (20) and Ahmed Najeeb (19), while present in al-Wad street in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 21:30, IOF stationed at al-Za’eem military checkpoint, east of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Hamida Alaa’ Dirbas (18), while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in al-Samu, Yatta, Beit Ula, and Hasakah villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 31 October 2020:

  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin; Rujeib, southeast of Nablus; al-Beira, Beit Ummar and Beit Ula villages in Hebron governorate; Kafr al-Deik, west of Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 01 November 2020:

  • At approximately 05:30, IOF moved into Kobar village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Marsil Ra’ed Zibar (18), and Mohannad al-Izza (37).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Birzeit, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Suhail Saleem Abu Dayya’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hanina village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron governorate. They surrounded and raided Karam Mahmoud Amro’s (39) house and detained his wife and 4 children, the oldest of whom is 8. Female soldiers searched his wife and continued searching and damaging the house for an hour and a half. Amro was detained and transferred to an armored personnel carrier parked outside. He was thrown on the ground, cuffed with zip tie handcuffs and blindfolded, a soldier struck him on the neck and he shortly fainted. Amro was released and transferred to al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF moved into Bab Huta village, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Hamza Sa’di al-Julany’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF into Wadi al-Joz neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Mofeed Zeyad Sa’eeda’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into al-Thawri neighborhood, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Omar Mohammed Shwaiky’s (14) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out two incursions in Yabad, southwest of Jenin; and Nablus. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 02 November 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Shaher Ali al-Ra’i (51) and Mohammed Ahmed al-Ra’i (65) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into Izbat al-Jarad area, southwest of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Mohammed Qasem Jawabera’s (55) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beitunia, west of Ramallah, and stationed at the Old City. IOF surrounded, raided and searched Khitam al-Sa’afin’s (57) house, the president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. She was taken to Ofer investigation center, southwest of Ramallah. It should be noted that al-Sa’afin was arrested in 02 July 2017 and spent 3 months in administrative arrest.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Beira, north of Ramallah governorate. IOF stormed Shatha Zeyad al-Tawil’s (21) house and arrested her.
  • At approximately 02:40, IOF moved into Ramin village, south of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Jamal Jamil Ismael Borhom’s (55) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Ramallah and stationed in al-Masioun neighborhood. They raided and searched Ahmed Mohammed al-Ra’i’s (60) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 13:00, the Israeli Intelligence Services phone called the Palestine TV correspondent, journalist Christine Khaled al-Rinawi (31), and asked her to appear at al-Maskoubeya police station in West Jerusalem. At approximately 15:00, she arrived there and interrogated on the charge of violating the Israeli Minister of Internal Security’s 2019 decision, to close the Palestine TV office, and banning its activities in Jerusalem and Israel. Rinawi was released on bail of 3,000 NIS.

It should be noted that the Israeli Intelligence Services summonsed al-Rinawi about 7 times in one year for her work at Palestine TV in Jerusalem. On 20 November 2019, Israeli authorities closed Palestine TV office in al-Sawana neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, arrested the staff, and banned them from working with Palestine TV inside Jerusalem.

  • At approximately 22:45, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint at the northern entrance of Birzeit, north of Ramallah. They arrested Amal Mo’amar Nakhla (16), from al-Tira neighborhood in Ramallah, and took him to an unknown destination. Amal’s father stated that his son suffers a serious health conditions, he had undergone a surgical operation in the lungs two months and half ago and is still receiving intensive treatment.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Bani Na’im, al-Hadab, Beit ‘Amra, and Beit al-Rush villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 03 November 2020:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, and stationed in Kaa al-Hara area. IOF stormed and searched two houses and arrested two civilians; Qusai Ahmed Abu Hashem (19), and Majed al-Hindi (18). IOF took them to “Gush Etzion” settlement detention center, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and no arrests were reported.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Khilat Assaf, behind Nour Shams refugee camp in Tulkarm. They raided and searched Mohammed Ahmed Shabrawi’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Jab’ village, south of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Sari (33), and his brother Obaida Majeed Fashafisha (29).
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Kobar village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Nidal Khaled Nabhan al-Barghouthi (29) and Mo’men Kifah al-Barghouthi (23) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 06:30, IOF reinforced with 5 military vehicles moved 100-meters to the west of the border fence, east of al-Bureij, heading to al-Maghazi and Deir al-Balah in the south. They combed and leveled lands and redeployed again inside the border fence, south of Khan Younis at approximately 14:30.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF stationed at Dotan military checkpoint, south of Jenin, arrested Ali Mohammed Abu Baker (22), while returning to his house. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out two incursions in al-Beira and Turmus Ayya villages in Ramallah governorate. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 04 November 2020:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Ahmed Khalil Nazzal (21), Hatem Omar Nazzal (37), and Mohammed Faisal Kmeil (22).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Tur village in the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (5) civilians; Khalil al-Hedra, Yousef al-Hedra, Ibrahim al-Hedra, Hamada al-Hedra, and Mostafa al-Hedra.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF arrested Isma’el Mahmoud al-Amassi (58), fom al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, while passing through a temporary military checkpoint established on the southern entrance of Hebron. IOF took him to an unknown destination.

III. Collective punishment policy

IOF continue to practice its collective punishment policy against the families of Palestinians accused of being involved in acts of resistance against IOF or settlers. On Sunday evening, 01 November 2020, IOF demolished Khalil Abdul Khaliq Mohammed Dwaikat’s family home in Rujeib, southeastern Nablus, northern West Bank. Dwaikat is currently imprisoned by Israel.

According to PCHR’s follow-up, at approximately 22:30 on Sunday, IOF, accompanied by several military vehicles, including a bulldozer, raided Rujeib town; IOF soldiers spread in the northern part of the town, mounted the roofs of several houses in the area and blocked the entrance to Dwaikat’s (46) family home, while randomly shooting tear gas canisters. A group of soldiers raided the house to execute a demolition decision that the family were previously notified of; the decision was issued by the Supreme Court on 25 October 2020, and granted the family until 18:00 on Sunday, 01 November 2020 to vacate. IOF accuses Dwaikat, who has been detained since 26 August 2020, of committing a stab-attack in Petah Tikva in Israel, where rabbi Shai Ohayon was killed.

At approximately 23:30, the forces began demolishing the two-story house (150 sqm). The house was home for Dwaikat’s wife, Najwa Khairy, and his five daughters, four of whom are children. They also uprooted 15 olive trees and other fruitful trees and demolished a retaining wall (length: 25 m; height: 2 m). The forces withdrew at approximately 02:00 on Monday, amidst heavy shooting of tear gas canisters. After their withdrawal, clashes erupted between IOF soldiers and Palestinians, during which several Palestinians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and received treatment in the field.

It should be noted that IOF had previously raided the family house on 26 August 2020, interrogated both Dwaikat’s wife and his brother-in-law regarding Dwaikat and his work. At the time, a member of IOF’s Engineering Unit took the house measurements in a prelude to its demolition. IOF informed the family of the demolition decision verbally before withdrawing. The following day, Dwaikat’s brother, Khaled, submitted a complaint with HaMoked, who submitted a complaint with the Supreme Court, and the demolition decision was frozen within a month. On 25 October 2020, HaMoked and the family were shocked to learn that the Court had convened and issued a decision to demolish the house with one week notice to the family to evacuate, i.e. until the evening of the day the demolition was executed.

IV. Settlement expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

  • Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property
  • At approximately 03:00 on Thursday, 29 October 2020, IOF moved into Jabel Tawil area in al-Bireh, northern Ramallah; the soldiers raided the temporary Rescue and Emergency HQ of the City’s Military medical services. Mohammed Salah al-Qadi, a paramedic, stated to PCHR that IOF soldiers raided the office and gave us a verbal warning to evacuate the premises and threatened to demolish it, without giving a written notice under pretext it was established in area C.
  • At approximately 15:00 on Monday, 02 November 2020, IOF, accompanied by several military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration vehicles, moved into Khirbet Igzawey in souther Yatta, southern Hebron. They proceeded to demolish Kamal Issa Dababsa’s under-construction house (100 sqm), which was intended to shelter him and his family of 7. The demolition was alleged for unlicensed construction; Dababsa was previously served a military demolition notice No. 1779 on 20 October 2020.

It should be noted that IOF based this demolition on Military Order No. 1797 of 2018, which allows the “building inspector” at the Israeli Civil Administration, to issue a demolition/removal order on any construction that is not completed within 6 months, or has been occupied for less than 30 days after the inspector’s visit. This type of notices deprives Palestinians of their right to defend their houses and facilities, as the High Court of Israel refuses any petitions made to freeze or cancel such notices. Furthermore, demolition notices based on Military Order No. 1797 deprive citizens from applying for licensing their targeted buildings.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 12:00 on Tuesday IOF, accompanied by Israeli Civil Administration SUVs and construction vehicles, moved into Kherbet Hemsa al-Foqa in the northern Jordan valleys, eastern Tubas. The construction vehicles proceeded to demolish 70 civilian properties, including barracks and residential tents that sheltered 11 families (total 60 persons, mostly children). IOF demolished 11 residential tents, 27 barracks, some used for housing, and several barns, as well as, kitchens, mobile-lavatories, water tanks and other properties. IOF also confiscated two tractors and a private Subaru car.

  • At approximately 14:00, IOF accompanied by several military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration vehicles, moved into Buweib village in eastern Yatta. IOF distributed several cease-construction notices for alleged unlicensed construction in area C.
OwnerEstablishmentAreaNotice type
Khalil H. Adda’ajnaConcrete storehouse200 m²Cease-construction
Mahmoud K. H. Adda’ajnaConcrete storehouse200 m²Cease-construction
Mohammed M. Adda’ajnaConcrete storehouse200 m²Cease-construction
Tayseer O. MahainaWater well150 mCease-construction
Mohammed O. MahainaTin-plated barracks400 m²Cease-construction
Burhan J. MahainaTin-plated barracks150 m²Cease-construction
Hassan M. Adda’ajnaTin-plated barracks150 m²Cease-construction
Mohammed A. HlikaqweyTwo rooms (tin-plated and made of bricks)70 m²Cease-construction
  • Also on Tuesday, IOF demolished, IOF demolished a house and barracks in Beit Hanina and Jabel Mukaber in occupied East Jerusalem under pretext of non-licensed construction.

According to Wadi Hilweh Information Center, IOF accompanied by Municipal officers and construction vehicles moved into Beit Hanina in occupied Eastern Jerusalem, blocked several roads and surrounded Amjad Idris’ house and proceeded to demolish it. Idris stated that the Israeli Municipality demolished his house as he was preparing to move-in with his family of 4.. He added that he had started building his home a month and a half ago and had prepared it for his family’s move-in. He added that IOF handed him a cease-construction order 10 days ago.

IOF also demolished a barracks used as a stable and razed a concrete-plot in Jabel Mukaber in occupied East Jerusalem.

  • Israeli Settlers’ Attacks
  • Early on Friday, 30 October 2020, a group of settlers from “Rehelim” settlement, established on stolen lands of As-Sawiya village, southeastern Nablus, cut several electric poles with chainsaws. They also destroyed an irrigation network on the western side of town before fleeing back into the settlement.
  • At approximately 02:54 on Sunday, 01 November 2020, 3 settlers in a grey vehicle, attacked Mohammed I. al-Khatib’s plantation, “Iloul Plantation,” located by As-Sawiya village entrance. The settlers uprooted several seedlings and caused damage as documented by the site’s surveillance cameras.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Tuesday, 03 November 2020, Mohammed Naser al-Din M. S. Allan (37), and his 73-year-old father, went to their 7-dunum land in As Sawma’ah area, northern Huwara in eastern Nablus. The land is planted with olive trees. Upon their arrival, they discovered that settlers from “Yitzhar” settlement cut 25 olive trees that are more than 30 years old. They also found that settlers established a metal fence in their land (3*2*1) in a prelude to confiscation of their land for the sake of expanding “Yitzhar.”

Mr. Allan stated to PCHR fieldworker that:

            “At approximately 11:00 on Tuesday, neighbors told me that we have security clearance from the IOF watchtower near “Yitzhar” settlement that allows us to enter our land. I went with my father only to find that settlers had assaulted our land and cut at least 25 olive trees (more than 30 years old) with chainsaws and installed a metal fence within, in a prelude to confiscating our land for the benefit of expanding “Yitzhar” settlement. A few months ago, settlers established a road that connects our land with the settlement. I immediately filed a complaint, through Huwara Municipality’s lawyer, with the Israeli courts where I presented all official property deeds and titles that prove my ownership. The case is still pending.”

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

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

The West bank:

In addition to 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 47 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested of them. IOF reinforced its restrictions on freedom of movement on its permanent military checkpoints. The following is a detailed record of the restrictions on the freedom of movement and temporary checkpoints established in the oPt that our fieldworkers managed to document.

Jerusalem:

  • On Friday afternoon, 30 October 2020, IOF closed Qalandiya checkpoint, north of occupied East Jerusalem for few hours after claiming there was stone-throwing in the area, causing traffic jam.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 29 October 2020, IOF tightened its measures at the Container checkpoint, east of Bethlehem and established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Husan village and near the intersection of al-Nashash area, south of the city.
  • On Friday, 30 October 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the western entrance to Tuqu village and near the intersection of al-Nashash area, south of the city.
  • On Saturday, 31 October 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, the western entrance to Beit Fajjar and near the intersection of al-Nashash area, south of the city.
  • On Sunday, 01 November 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Beit Fajjar village, the entrance to Jannatah village, the entrance to Beit Jala, and near the intersection of al-Nashash area, south of the city.

Ramallah:

  • On Friday, 30 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Sinjil village, east of Ramallah.
  • On Saturday, 31 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to al-Janyah village, west of Ramallah.
  • On Monday, 02 November 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Sijil village, near Bridge of ‘Atara village and the villages of ‘Ein Siniya and Yabrud in Ramallah.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 29 October 2020, IOF established 6 checkpoints at the entrances to ‘Ayoun Abu Seif, Kharsa, Beit ‘Awwa and Beit Ummar and the entrance to al-Arroub refugee camp.
  • On Friday, 30 October 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the villages of Beit Ummar and Sa’ir and al-Arroub refugee camp.
  • On Saturday, 31 October 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Fawwar refugee camp, Beit Kahil, southern Hebron and Kharsa village.
  • On Sunday, 01 November 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Idhna village, Fawwar refugee camp, and northern Hebron.
  • On 04 November 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar village, Al Aroub refugee camp and al-Kum village, as well as Hebron City’s western entrance.

Jericho:

On Sunday, 01 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 29 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Qusra village on Street 505 connecting Za’atarah checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, with Jericho, northwest of Nablus.
  • On Saturday, 31 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at Zububa village on Jenin-Jaffa Street, west of Jenin, northwest of Nablus.

Salfit:

  • On Sunday, 01 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit..

Qalqilya:

  • On Sunday, 01 November 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints on the entrance to Azzun village and the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.
  • On Monday, 02 November 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to ‘Ezet al-Tabib, ‘Ezbet Salman and ‘Ezbet Jal’oud  villages and at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.

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

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

By Staff

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

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

Fisk was particularly renowned for his war reporting.

The Forgotten Massacre

Robert Fisk, Sunday 15 September 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related

RCF: Ramzy and Zarefah Baroud on Gaza’s History of Resistance (WATCH)

October 22, 2020

Ramzy and Zarefah Baroud discuss Gaza’s history of resistance. (Photo: video grab)

By Rachel Corrie Foundation

The Gaza Strip has been made into an Israeli combat zone with the decided aim of crushing Palestinian resistance. Israeli weapons, most of which are courtesy of Washington, have for, at least, 14 years turned Gaza into the world’s largest open air prison. But neither prison nor siege have ended the Palestinian struggle for freedom. Palestinians in Gaza, as elsewhere, are determined to claim their rights, no matter how high the price.

The discussion touches on the stories of real Palestinians who have paid a high price for their resistance, in all of its forms.

For more information on Ramzy’s latest book, These Chains Will Be Broken, follow this link.

Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books on Palestine, including My Father Was a Freedom Fighter, The Last Earth and his latest, These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University, and at the Johannesburg-based Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is ramzybaroud.net.

Zarefah Baroud is a recent Master’s graduate from the University of Washington, researching American aid programs to the Israeli military. She works for American Muslims for Palestine in Washington DC and produces advocacy and education based content surrounding the Palestinian struggle. Baroud has published various articles on CounterPunch, Common Dreams, Socialist Worker, and others.

(Rachel Corrie Foundation)

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