Hebron is braving a storm of Judaisation

Source

By Nabil Al-Sahli | MEMO | November 9, 2018

Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian youth in the West Bank city of Hebron, on 22 September 2017 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Apaimages]

The ongoing and intense settlement activity in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron confirms Israel’s deliberate policy to empty it of its Arab inhabitants and Judaise it. The Palestinian city remains the second most targeted area for illegal Jewish settlements after Jerusalem. The first settlement activity in the West Bank was the establishment of the Kfar Etzion kibbutz in the strategic area bordering Hebron.

We can say with certainty that Israel’s plans for the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron are no less dangerous than its Judaisation plans for Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Over the years, the Israeli settlers have turned a major section of the mosque into a synagogue. We do not doubt that the settlers intend to take over completely in the months and years ahead.

Perhaps it was precisely for that reason that the Israeli government announced recently a new settlement plan targeting the heart of Hebron in order to link the settlements built across the city by means of new illegal blocs. The government is funding the construction of a settlement on Al-Shuhada Street in the old city, taking advantage of Donald Trump’s Presidency in the US to adopt and “legitimise” its settlement policy in Palestine, even though all Jewish settlements across the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, are illegal under international law. This is especially the case in Hebron and Jerusalem, which are both earmarked for even more Judaisation.

The purpose of the latest settlement outpost in Hebron is to create a new military checkpoint to harass and increase the suffering of the Palestinians prior to their eventual expulsion. The site on Al-Shuhada Street belongs to the Hebron municipality. The occupation authorities confiscated it for use as an army base and a location for settlers’ caravans. Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman made the announcement of the 31 settlement units to be built in the heart of Al-Shuhada Street, approved by the so-called Civil Administration and Israeli government, and funded by the latter.

A few months ago Lieberman ordered the establishment of an authority to manage the municipal affairs of the settlement bloc located in the centre of Hebron. This is a Judaisation measure taken against the city’s Palestinian inhabitants with the purpose of strengthening the powers of the settlers who had previously managed their daily affairs by means of a council, which had no “legal” status.

Israel has portrayed this as being necessary to strengthen the Jewish community in the city and as a very important move in order to continue and develop settlement expansion in the West Bank, despite the existence of Palestinian-Israeli arrangements agreed in 1997 that divided Hebron into two parts. The first was the 80 per cent of the city under the complete jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority while the remaining 20 per cent was supposed to be under Israeli security control and Palestinian civil control. Since then, the entire city was supposed to have been under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Hebron municipality (with a population of 260,000 Palestinians and 800 Jewish settlers).

For the purpose of Judaising Hebron and displacing its indigenous Palestinian people, there have been non-stop attacks since the city’s occupation in 1967. There is a consensus among all Israeli parties to establish an administration to manage settler affairs in the city and to promote settlement activity. This explains Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s practical support for intensifying settlement activity in the West Bank, which is basically an execution of the project to annex Palestinian areas to Israel by means of “legitimate” demarcation and recognition of illegal settlements, along with granting them sovereignty.

It is a well-known fact that the establishment of settlements violates all international principles and customs, as well as the UN Charter, which outlines a long series of restrictions imposed on any occupying forces, including Israel’s. The essence of this bans occupiers from settling their own citizens in areas under occupation. This has been reiterated by UN Resolutions which deny any legal status to the Jewish settlements and ban their annexation by Israel. Indeed, the resolutions call for the dismantling of the settlements, not simply “freezing” settlement activity. The settlements in Jerusalem and Hebron are covered by this requirement.

Israel’s construction of additional settlements, and expansion of existing sites, violate Palestinian rights and international laws and conventions. The decision to build settlement blocs in Hebron and establish a council to manage Jewish settler affairs in the city breaches UN Security Council Resolution 2334. Israel should be condemned for treating international law with such contempt.

This article first appeared in Arabic in the Palestinian Information Centre on 8 November 2018

 

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Weekly report on israel’s terrorism against the State of Palestinians (01 – 07 November 2018)

PCHR Weekly Report 

  

08 Nov 10:45 PM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 01 – 07 November, 2018.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip. A civilian succumbed to wounds he sustained during his participation in the Return and Breaking Siege protests. 77 civilians, including 12 children, a woman, a journalist and 3 paramedics, were wounded; 4 of them sustained serious wounds.

Shooting:

 

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces killed ‘Emad Shahin (17) from al-Nussairat refugee camo when the Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israeli, east of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip opened fire at 3 Palestinian children and youngsters who approached the border fence.  As a result, one of them was wounded, arrested and then taken by a helicopter to Soroka Hospital.  On 14 November 2018, the Israeli media declared his death after succumbing to his wounds.

 

On 07 November 2018, the medical sources at al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron declared the death of Ahmed al-Najjar (21) from Khan Younis after he succumbed to wounds he sustained during his participation in the Return Protests, east of Khuza’ah, east of the City.  The above-mentioned civilian was wounded on 26 October 2018 with a bullet that penetrated his abdomen and exited his back during his participation in the Return protests near the Return encampment in eastern Khuza’ah.  At that time, he was referred to the Gaza European hospital where his condition was described as serious and after few days he was referred to al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron until his death was declared.

 

In the same context, on 02 November 2018, the medical sources declared the death of Mohammed al-Rifi (13) from al-Nafaq Street in Gaza City after he succumbed to wounds he sustained in the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.

 

As part of using excessive forces against the peaceful protests along the Gaza Strip borders, the Israeli forces during the reporting period wounded 77 civilians, including 12 children, a woman, a journalist and 3 paramedics.  Four of those wounded sustained serious injuries.

Injuries in the Gaza Strip between 01 and 07 November 2018 in Each City

 

City Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Conditions
Northern Gaza Strip 28 7 1 1 2 1
Gaza City 15 0 0 0 0 1
Central Gaza Strip 4 0 0 0 1 0
Khan Younis 18 3 0 0 0 0
Rafah 12 2 0 0 0 2
Total 77 12 1 1 1 3

 

As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating the on-going Israeli policy to target their livelihoods.  During the reporting period, PCHR documented 3 attacks against the fishermen in the north-western Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.  However, no casualties or damage to the boat was reported.

 

In the West Bank, during the reporting period, the Israeli forces wounded 12 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and a woman, in separate shooting incidents.

Israeli Forces continued to create a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem:

 

As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, on 06 November 2018, the Israeli forces demolished 2 residential houses belonging to the family of Kamel al-Rajabi and his sons in al-Aqshqariyah neighbourhood in Beit Hanina, north of occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of building without a license.  The 130-square-meter houses were built 4 months ago and sheltered 3 families of 12 members, including 5 children.

 

On the same day, the Israeli municipal bulldozers demolished a commercial facility in Beer Ayoub neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, udner the pretext of unlicensed construction.  The facility belonged to Mohamed ‘Odah and was built a year and a half ago on an area of 20 square meters.  The facility is a canteen for selling sandwiches and drinks and supported 3 families.

 

On 07 November 2018, Israeli municipal bulldozers demolished a residential building in Sho’afat refugee camp, north of East Jerusalem’s Old City, belonging to Mahmoud al-Jaradat under the pretext of the unlicensed construction and its closeness to the annexation wall.  The building was comprised of 4 floors; 3 of which were residential and a ground floor that was used as a car parking.  The building was 600 square meters and included 12 residential apartments; 8 were ready for inhabitation.

 

Israeli Forces continued their settlement activities, and the settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

 

As part of demolition of houses and other civil objects, on 05 November 2018, the Israeli forces demolished, uprooted and confiscated 3 barracks and 5 tents belonging to ‘Omer Bshara in Kherbet Bzeiq in the Jordan Valleys, east of Tubas on 05 November 2018.  Two of these barracks and tents were residential while one of them was used for sheltering sheep.  The Israeli forces confiscated tin plates and the tents and later withdrew.

 

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against the Palestinians civilians and their property, PCHR’s fieldworkers documented 4 attacks by settlers, including 2 in Hebron and 2 in Nablus.  As a result of those attacks, 7 civilians, including a baby girl, were wounded.

Child Succumbed to Wounds He Sustained in the 2014 Israeli Offensive on the Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 07:30 on Saturday, 02 November 2018, Mohammed Nasser Ziyad al-Refi (13), from al-Nafaq Street in Gaza City, succumbed to wounds he sustained in the 2014 Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. Mohammed was wounded on 21 August 2014, when he and his family were in an agricultural land owned by his grandfather, near the house. An Israeli warplane launched a missile at them, causing the death of 3 persons namely Mohammed Ziyad al-Refi (28), his brother Nasser (38) and his son Omer (9), who is Mohammed’s twin. Few days later, Maram Tareq al-Refi (7) and her brother Ziyad (9) succumbed to their wounds. Mohammed suffered from his injury as he was hit with a shrapnel to neck vertebrae, causing a cut to the spinal cord and lead to quadriplegia. Mohammed was transferred to Mar Youssef Hospital in Jerusalem, but doctors could not treat him, so he came back to Gaza City. Mohammed stayed at Al-Wafa’ Hospital for Medical Rehabilitation & Specialized Surgery in al-Zahra’a City as he was artificially breathing. His health condition deteriorated and he lost consciousness for 10 days and then died.

 

Use of Force against Demonstrations in Protest against the U.S. President’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:

 

Israeli forces continued its excessive use of lethal force against peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and it was named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking Siege.” The demonstration was in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to move the U.S. Embassy to it. According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations, the border area witnessed large participation by Palestinian civilians as the Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators, though the demonstration were fully peaceful. The demonstration was as follows during the reporting period:

 

Gaza Strip:

 

In the Thirty-second week of the March of Return and Breaking Siege activities, Israeli forces wounded 77 civilians, including 12 children, a  child, a woman, a journalist and 3 paramedics. Doctors classified 4 civilian’s injuries as serious. The incidents were as follows:

 

  • The Northern Gaza Strip: 11 civilians, including 3 children and a woman, were wounded. Four of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, 4 were hit with rubber bullets and 3 were hit with tear gas canisters. doctors classified a civilian’s injury as serious.

 

  • In Gaza City: 15 civilians were wounded. Nine of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, 2 were hit with rubber bullets and 4 were hit with tear gas canisters. doctors classified a civilian’s injury as serious.

 

  • Khan Younis: Israeli forces’ shooting at demonstrators, which continued 18:30, resulted in the injury of 18 civilians, including 3 children. Six of them were hit with live bullets, 11 were hit with tear gas canisters and one civilian was hit with a rubber bullet.

 

  • The Central Gaza Strip: 4 civilians were wounded, including Khalid Abdul Rahman Khalil al-Shatali (26), a paramedic volunteering at Medical Services, was hit with a tear gas canister to the upper limbs

 

  • Rafah City: Israeli forces’ shooting resulted in the injury of 12 civilians, including 2 children. Seven of them were hit with live bullets, 4 were hit with tear gas canisters and one civilian was hit with a rubber bullet. Doctors classified 2 civilians’ injuries as serious.

 

  • At approximately 15:00 on Monday, 05 November 2018, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, and Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, opened fire and fired sound bombs at dozens of Palestinian civilians, who were in the Return coastal camp, adjacent to “Zikim” military base, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. It should be noted that this is the 15th time for Palestinian boats to sail for Breaking the Siege, in addition to another group of civilians, who were swimming in the sea. As a result, 17 civilians, including 4 children, 2 paramedics and a journalist, were wounded. The wounded paramedics were identified as:

 

  1. Ibrahim Mazen Suleiman Abu Talikh (19), a paramedic volunteering at Rozan al-Najjar Medical Team from Rafah, was hit with a live bullet to the right leg.
  2. Saber Mousa Saber Hasan (40), Nurse Volunteer Officer from Beit Hanoun, was hit with a rubber bullet to the left arm.

 

The wounded journalist was identified as Ahmed ‘Isam Sobhi Shaqurah (25), a journalist at Palestine Company for Media Production from Sheikh Redawn neighborhood in Gaza City, was hit with a rubber bullet to the head.

 

Civilian Ahmed al-Najjar Succumbed to His Wounds:

 

  • At approximately 21:30 on Wednesday, 17 November 2018, medical sources at al-Ahli hospital in Hebron announced the death of Ahmed Khalid Slaman al-Najjar (21), from Khan Younis, succumbed to wounds he sustained during his participation in the Return demonstrations, east of Khuza’ah, east of Khan Younis. According to PCHR’s fieldworker,  on Friday, 26 October 2018, Ahmed was hit with a live bullet fired by Israeli forces. The live bullet penetrated the abdomen and existed from the back. Ahmed was admitted to Gaza European Hospital and doctors classified his injury as serious. After few days, Ahmed was transferred to al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron to receive medical treatment. He stayed in the hospital until his death was announced on the same day evening.

 

West Bank:

 

  • Following the Friday prayer on 02 November 2018, dozens of Palestinian, civilians international human rights defenders and Israelis organized protests in Ni’lin and Bil’in villages, west of Ramallah and al-Mazra’ah al-Gharibiyah, northwest of city in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces used force to disperse the protestors by firing live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. The soldiers also chased the protestors into olive fields and between houses. As a result, a 25-year-old civilian, from al-Mazra’ah al-Gharbiyah village, was hit with a Two-Two bullet to the right foot. He was taken to the Istishari Arab Hospital in al-Rihan Suburb, north of the city. Doctors classified his injury as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 16:30 on the same Friday, a group of Palestinian civilians organized a protest from the center of Qalqiliyah into the western entrance (al-Naqqar neighborhood) to the abovementioned city. Israeli forces stationed in the vicinity of the abovementioned entrance fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, a 17-year-old child was hit with a rubber bullet to the foot.

 

 

House Demolition Notices and Demolitions:

 

  • At approximately 06:00 on Tuesday, 06 November 2018, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished 2 houses belonging to al-Rajabi Family in al-Ashqariyah neighborhood in Beit Hanina village, north of occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Mohammed Kamel al-Rajabi, the son of the two houses’ owner and of those affected by the demolition, said that the Israeli municipal staffs moved along with the Israeli forces and bulldozers into al-Ashqariyah neighborhood.  They surrounded his house and his family house without any prior warning, forcing them to leave the houses.  They also attacked his family members and pushed them in addition to forcing them to stay away from the vicinity of the 2 houses and prevented them from taking the furniture out.  The bulldozers then started demolishing the two houses.  Al-Rajabi said that the two houses were built on area of 130 square meters 4 months ago.  He added that the Israeli municipality had issued a decision to demolish both houses, but they referred to the court which froze the decision at the time.  However, the demolition was applied on the abovementioned day morning before the imposed fine of NIS 10,000 being paid.  Al-Rajabi also said that building belonged to his father and sheltered 3 families; his family, the family of his brother ‘Adel; and his elderly father and crippled mother, i.e. 12 members, including 5 children.

 

  • At approximately 11:00 on the abovementioned day, the Israeli municipal bulldozers demolished a commercial facility in Beer Ayoub neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Mohammed ‘Abed ‘Odah, the owner of the facility, said that the Israeli bulldozers demolished his 20-square-meter facility that was built 1 and a half year ago.  He added that his family had built this facility which is a canteen for selling sandwiches and drinks and supports 3 families.  ‘Odah added that the municipality issued around a week ago a decision to demolish the facility, and the lawyer referred to the Municipality and managed to delay the demolition until 04 November 2018.  When the lawyer today headed to the court to file a request for delaying the demolition for an extra period, the Israeli staffs implemented the demolition.  ‘Odah also said that the municipality demolished for the family during the 2 past years a commercial facility in the same area but was then a “carwash.”

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 07 November 2018, Israeli municipal bulldozers demolished a residential building in Sho’afat refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City under the pretext of unlicensed construction and its closeness to the annexation wall. Mahmoud Jaradat, the building’s owner, said that large forces of Israeli soldiers accompanied with 3 bulldozers and municipal staffs moved into the Camp and completely surrounded the residential building.  They closed all the roads leading to it and expelled its residents to start demolishing the building for unlicensed construction.  He added that the building was built a year and a half ago, and the Israeli municipality 8 months ago issued a decision to demolish it.  At that time, the lawyer managed to freeze the demolition decision and follow the license procedures.  On Tuesday, 06 November 2018, the Israeli municipality issued a decision to demolish the building and the lawyer could not head to the court as the decision was issued in late hours.  Jaradat explained that the building was comprised of 4 floors; 3 were residential and the ground floor was used as a car parking.  He said that the building was on an area of 600 square meters and included 12 apartments; 8 were ready for habitation.  He added that the 2 families; who are al-Baytouni and Abu Shames, lately moved to the 2 apartments, but today were expelled and the demolition was implemented while some of their furniture was still inside.  It should be also noted that many families had also bought apartments in the building.

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

Israeli forces’ attacks:

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Sunday, 04 November 2018, the Israeli forces backed by a military vehicle and accompanied with a vehicle belonging to the Israeli Civil Administration, moved into al-Sheikh Valley area adjacent to the Bypass Road (60), east of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They deployed in the vicinity of an under-construction house built on an area of 150 square meters and belonging to Thaer Mahmoud ‘Ali al-‘Allamah.  The Civil Administration officer then handed the abovementioned civilian a notice to stop the constriction works in his house under the pretext of unlicensed building.  The soldiers attempted to confiscate a truck full of construction materials parked in front of the house.  However, the residents of the village intervened and the truck left the area without the Israeli soldiers’ stooping it.

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 05 November 2018, the Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle belonging to the Israeli Civil Administration, a bulldozer and crane moved into Bzeiq Kherbeh in the Northern Jordan Valleys, east of Tubas. The soldiers deployed between the farmers’ tents and the bulldozer started destroying and uprooting 3 barracks of 250 square meters, 5 tents; 3 donated by the Local Governance Ministry and 2 by ACTED along with the barracks belonging to ‘Omer ‘Amer Bsharat.  Two barracks and tents are residential while one is used for sheltering sheep.  The Israeli forces then confiscated tin plates and tents and later withdrew.

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 05 November 2018, the Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle belonging to the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Khelet al-Dabe’a and Sarourah areas, southeast of Yata, south of Hebron. They along with the Civil Administration officer raided Khelet al-Dabe’a Mixed School that was inaugurated in October 2018 and took photos of it.  They then hanged on one of its walls a notice to stop construction works in it under the pretext of unlicensed construction.  It should be noted that the Israeli authorities on Wednesday morning, 11 July 2018, raided Kherbet Khelet al-Dabe’a School and confiscated its buildings under the pretext of unlicensed construction.  The Civil Administration officers also handed notices to stop construction works in dwellings belonging No’aman Shehdah Hamamdah who supprts a family of 13 members; Hussaein Ahmed Hamamdah who supports a family of 10 members; ‘Adlah Hussein Hamamdah who supports a family of 7 members; and Jamal Mousa Hamamdah who supports a family of 5 members in addition to a 2-square-meter bathroom.  The notices gave those civilians 7 days to settle their legal affairs.

 

Israeli settlers’ attack:

 

  • At approximately 18:00 on Friday, 02 November 2018, dozens of settlers, who came to Hebron in order to celebrate the so called “Sarah Shabbat,” attacked civilian houses in the neighborhoods of Ghaith and al-Salaymah in the southern area of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron’s Old City. As a result, a number of civilians sustained bruises and injuries and were taken to Hebron Governmental Hospital.  The attack occurred in front of the Israeli Border police officers and soldiers who were in the area to secure the passage of settlers for the celebration organized in the Ibrahimi Mosque Yard and in the vicinity of the Mosque without the soldiers’ intervening and stopping their attack.

 

Mohammed ‘Abdel Jawad Ghaith (29) said to a PCHR’s fieldworker that:

 

“At approximately 18:30 on Friday, 02 November 20198, I was home and the area witnessed crowds of settlers swarming into the Ibrahimi Mosque Yard to celebrate “Sarah Shabbat”.  I then heard voices near the gates established at the fence that is around 10 meters away from my house.  I went outside to see 10 settlers aged between 18-40 years attacking my brother, Ibrahim (38) and beating him to the ground while one of them was trying to close the gate with his feet.  I ran towards him to find the settlers had torn his clothes.  I attempted to back them off and quarreled with.  One of the settlers then stepped few meters back, pulled the trigger and pointed his gun at me.  The settlers then started withdrawing while 7 Israeli border officers stepped towards me.  One of the officers held my right hand and strongly bent my fingers backwards until he fractured my wrist.  I felt so much pain and dizzy and then fainted.  I woke up then near Ghaith Family Divan around 15 meters away… I was then taken to Hebron Governmental Hsopital to find 4 of the neighborhood residents wounded by the settlers.  Those wounded were identified as Hamadah al-Fakhouri (30) whose head was bleeding; his brother Hazem (31) whose left hand was swollen; ‘Abdel Jawad Shafiq Ghaith (18) whose right shoulder was wounded; and ‘Alaa’ al-Rajabi (20) who was pepper-sprayed.”

 

  • At approximately 13:00 on Saturday, 03 November 2018, dozens of settlers who were in the neighborhoods of Hebron’s Old City attacked with stones a house belonging to ‘Emad ‘Awni Abu Shamsah (44) in Tal al-Ramidah in central Hebron. The attack occurred In front of the Israeli soldiers who were in the area while celebrating Sarah Shabbat.  As a result, ‘Emad was hit with a stone to his arm. his daughter Marwa said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

 

“Around 13:00, we were home and my sister Madin who is married and her child were visiting us.  We heard noise in the vicinity of the house and on the roof, so my father went to see what was going on.  He started screaming outside, so the rest members of my family and I headed to see what was going on.  A number of settlers were on the house roof insulting my father and throwing empty beer bottles at him.  My father was screaming at the settlers and soldiers to force them to leave.  At that time, I saw dozens of Israeli settlers on the road in front of our house.  The settlers started throwing stones at my father wounding him to the arm.  When the settlers left the house roof, one of them threw a big stone at the gate overlooking the house.”

 

  • At approximately 20:30 on Sunday, 04 November 2018, Israeli settlers from “Yitsihar” settlement attacked a 2018 Palestinian Opel Corsa Grey Car driven by ‘Ali Rafiq Mohammed Shawahneh (38) from Kafr Tholth village, east of Qalqilya. He was with his wife, Aminah Shaher al-Tawil (29) and their 4-month daughter, Isle, sitting next to the driver’s sea while in the backseat her brother, Baker Shaher al-Tawil (28) was sitting with his wife Alaa’ Sa’ed al-Deen ‘Odah (23).  The car was attacked while they were traveling on “Yitsihar” Bypass Road.  As a result, the car structure was damaged and Isle sustained bruises after she fell off her mothers’ hand.  Moreover, Alaa’ fainted out of fear she felt.  The Israeli forces called an Israeli ambulance and those wounded stayed inside it for 40 minutes for treatment.  After that, a PRCS ambulance arrived and took them to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus for treatment.

 

  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 07 November 2018, Israeli settlers from “Yitsihar” settlement and backed by Israeli forces attacked al-Safafir area, east of ‘Orif village, south of Nablus. They threw stones at ‘Orif High School, so a number of civilians gathered and threw back stones at the Israeli settlers and soldiers.  The Israeli forces immediately responded and fired live bullets and rubber-coated metal bullets at the civilians.  As a result, 3 civilians, including a child, were wounded and taken to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus for medical treatment.  Their condition was described as moderate.

 

 

Recommendations to the International Community:

 

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC to continue to investigate the Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and grave violations in the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  7. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  8. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  9. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  10. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  11. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

Fully detailed document available at the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

#BDS Hollywood Stars Raise Record $60m for israeli (apartheid state) Army

Hollywood Stars Raise Record $60m for Israeli Army

MEMO | November 6, 2018

Hollywood celebrities raised a record breaking $60 million for the Israeli military at the Friends of the Israel Defence Forces (FIDF) annual gala last week.

This year’s sold-out Western Region event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel welcomed more than 1,200 supporters of Israel, including prominent actors and singers like Ashton Kutcher, Pharrell Williams, Gerard Butler, and Katharine McPhee.

“We are thrilled that so many members of our community, including major Hollywood figures, are coming together to help us support the brave men and women of the [Israeli army].” said FIDF National Board Member and Chairman of the event, Haim Saban. “Standing behind these heroes is one of my greatest honours in my life.”

The event featured a programme that told the 70-year history of Israel through the accounts of soldiers and the military’s various campaigns against the Palestinians.

It also included several contributions from former and current Israeli soldiers.

Last year, FIDF raised $53.8 million at the same event; contributions have been increasing annually for the past three years. In 2015 the gala raised $31 million, half of this year’s total.

According to a press release by the organisation, the funds raised will be used to “provide much-needed and well-deserved services such as academic scholarships to combat veterans, financial assistance for soldiers in need … crucial aid for wounded veterans and the families of fallen soldiers, weeks of rest and recuperation for entire IDF units, as well as educational, cultural, and recreational facilities.”

Last month, the FIDF’s New York event raised $32 million for members of Israel’s occupation forces, attended by many of the city’s most prominent business people and philanthropists.

Among the biggest donors to the gala were Or Lachayal – an organisation which works to “strengthen the Jewish identity of the Israeli army” – which pledged $2.5 million and Nefesh B’Nefesh – which promotes Jewish immigration to Israel – which pledged $1.3 million.

FIDF has a long history of fundraising for Israel’s occupation forces; it operates 20 offices across the United States and Panama, according to its own website.

Support for the army from US organisations and the US government has been a cornerstone of Israel’s ability to continue its ongoing occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In October, the largest ever US military aid package to Israel – worth $38 billion over a ten year period – entered into force.

Everyone knows settlers (jewish terrorists) cut down Palestinian olive trees. But israel (apartheid state) doesn’t care

Settlers Attacking Palestinian Farmers’ Produce, and Israeli Authorities Don’t Care

 by Amira Hass

Everyone knows settlers cut down Palestinian olive trees. But Israel doesn’t care

Israelis coming from a nearby northern West Bank outpost damage trees, steal olives and throw stones, yet the Palestinian villagers say involving the police is a waste of time

The October 4 video looks like the scene of an olive harvest. After all, it’s that season. Two young people, at least one of whom is a minor, are holding a large tarp. The smaller of the two of them is holding a stick and hitting a tree, but rather than knocking off the olives, the blows break the tree’s branches.

The olive trees in the West Bank Palestinian village of Burin in the northern West Bank do not belong to these young men, and no one gave them permission to harvest olives in this grove west of the Hawara checkpoint. They are unmistakably Jewish. Their white skullcaps, sidecurls and tzitzit ritual fringes make that clear.

>> Read more: Masked Israeli settlers filmed destroying Palestinian olive trees ■ More than 2,000 trees in West Bank Palestinian villages destroyed in two months

A Burin resident who will be identified only as N. was asked to film what was happening. He managed to get to the scene around 20 minutes later. He called the police, and by the time they arrived, 15 to 20 minutes later, he had managed to film the young men hitting three trees.

When the intruders saw a police vehicle, they fled. Three sacks of olives would later be found by police in one of two abandoned houses in the grove, one of which belongs to the owner of the grove. The second house belongs to a family from Nablus whom Jews evicted, tossing out all their furniture and belongings, at the beginning of the second intifada, around two decades ago, N. said. That family has never returned to live there.

The two homes and the hundreds of dunams of privately owned land around them are considered a dangerous area that Palestinians need to coordinate with the Israeli army to enter. Permission is only granted two or three times a year. Why is it dangerous? Because the area also has a spring that had been used to irrigate Burin’s groves for years. Israelis have turned it into a religious ritual bath and leisure spot.

It is a also near the Jewish settlement of Har Bracha and the unauthorized outpost of Givat Ronen. To avoid “friction,” the Israeli authorities bar the Palestinian owners of the land from access to it.

The policemen eventually found the young men with the ritual fringes under a large tree. N. saw them being taken away in the police car. When the owner of the olive grove arrived, he discovered that other trees had been hit in the same way, apparently two or three days earlier, and that a considerable portion of the olives were no longer there.

The spokesman’s office for the West Bank district of the Israel Police issued the following statement on the case: “Due to the decisive action of the Israel Police, three juvenile suspects were arrested for suspected agricultural theft and racially motivated offenses. The investigation is still underway, and when it’s concluded, the case will be transferred for review and a decision by the State Prosecutor’s Office.”

N. was asked to come to the police station at the West Bank settlement of Ariel to provide an account of the incident. “Not inside it, but outside the eastern gate of the settlement,” he said, adding that the policeman used the exterior of his cruiser as a desk in writing out N.’s account. N. does not remember the number of times he has reported to the police about similar incidents in his village. But the villagers’ complaints have never resulted in criminal charges or convictions that might deter others.

According to United Nations figures and information supplied by N., the recent olive theft was one of 48 acts of violence and vandalism by Israeli civilians in Burin alone in the past three years. There were six attacks in 2016; 18 in 2017; and 24 so far this year. The nature of the incidents has varied: raids by civilians accompanied by soldiers who have provided them cover; stone throwing at people, including shepherds and houses; the torching of fields and orchards; the theft of olives; trees that have been chopped down or damaged; and attacks on farmers at work.

On Saturday, October 20, Palestinian farmers were permitted access to their land near the settlement of Yitzhar for the sole purpose of harvesting olives, and only with prior coordination with the army. One farmer’s grove is in the wadi, N. said. When he came to harvest his olives, there was a military jeep there. As the soldiers in the jeep looked on, 12 Israelis descended from one of Yizhar’s mushrooming outposts, and threw stones at him, he said. But someone called the Border Police and when they arrived, the intruders scattered. As a result of the incident, the farmer was given special permission to work on his plot on another day — last Tuesday.

A week earlier, on October 13, N. was present for an olive harvest on land belonging to villagers from Burin and Hawara, south of Givat Ronen. It was the same story: Israelis descended from the outpost to throw stones, and the olive pickers fled. Then one of the Israelis approached the tarps on which the olives had been gathered, tossed the olives into the brush and took the tarps. “And everything was caught on video,” N. said.

Since 2016, individual Israelis have staged raids at the nearby village of Urif 16 times and 35 times at Hawara. According to United Nations figures, of the 99 attacks documented in these three neighboring villages, 13 involved arson. At least 1,700 trees and large amounts of crops have been vandalized in the three villages over the course of the last three years.

Madama, Asira al-Qibliya and Einabus are also on the list of villages that have been hit within the same territory of 25-square kilometer (16-mile). This is just a small portion — half a percent — of the West Bank, and it is the subject of a recent report issued by the Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din, which focuses on that violent epicenter. The report is entitled “Yizhar — A Case Study: Settler violence as a vehicle for taking over Palestinian land with state and military backing.”

Yesh Din has documented 275 attacks against these six villages between 2008 and 2018 that were allegedly committed by Israeli citizens. There are other such cases in this area, but these are the ones that Yesh Din documented. In 167 of the documented cases, the Palestinian victims filed complaints with the police. As of May of this year, 152 complaints had been processed. Only five (3 percent) ended in an indictment, while 117 (77 percent) were closed because the perpetrator could not be identified. Another 22 cases (14 percent) were closed due to insufficient evidence.

These statistics and rate of impunity are similar to data on crimes against Palestinians for the West Bank as a whole. In October alone, the Israeli organizations B’Tselem and Yesh Din documented 12 cases of attacks on olive harvesters or damage to trees allegedly committed by Israelis in the central West Bank.

In a response for this article, the Israel Police West Bank district spokesman’s office, said it was unaware of the statistics and could not determine their reliability.

The army and police are both aware that the groves that have been hit are prone to such assaults carried out by Israelis, since they have been attacked in the past. Palestinian access to them is usually restricted. Since the beginning of the second intifada, which erupted in 2000, it has generally been limited to two or three times a year. Dozens of trees are usually damaged in each attack, meaning that several people are involved.

When the trees are young, they can be easily uprooted, but more mature trees require an electric saw. This means the attack requires planning, and even if there are two saws, cutting them down takes time and makes a lot of noise. In other words, the assailants likely feel fairly confident that they will not be punished, even if they are caught.

The areas are dotted with army surveillance cameras. At times, the attacks (mainly arson and assaults on harvesters) have been carried out with soldiers present. The material damage is extensive, and the emotional damage cannot be quantified.

Muhammad Awwad of the village of Turmus Ayya is 80 years old. Agriculture is his main source of income, and he is considered one of the major farmers in the area. He told Iyad Haddad, a B’Tselem fieldworker, of his shock when he came to his grove on October 7, in coordination with the army. He discovered that dozens of olive trees had been destroyed, their branches severed from the trees’ trunks. “I thought I was imagining,” he said.

The trees were of particularly high quality and were planted 40 years ago. An officer from the Israeli District Coordination and Liaison Administration, along with a policeman and a soldier, arrived, but Awwad told Haddad categorically: “I have no desire wasting my time filing a complaint that isn’t worth it and the results of which are known in advance.”

In fact, in recent years, both B’Tselem and Yesh Din researchers have noted a clear drop in the number of Palestinian victims who bother to complain to the police over such incidents.

For his part, Abu Atta of the village of Awarta did file a complaint in October 2017 about the theft of his olives. The prospect that his complaint would be investigated and turned into an indictment as an example to others was ostensibly high. After all, it was no less than an Israeli officer at the Israeli District Coordination and Liaison Administration who caught the Israeli citizen stealing olives from the Palestinian grove near the entrance to the settlement of Itamar. He had photographed the thief and even took the trouble to seek out the owner of the plot, Abu Atta, and to help him file a complaint.

An investigation closed

A team from Yesh Din and lawyer Michael Sfard sought to monitor the progress of the investigation of the theft of Abu Atta’s olives, but they received no information for six months. To their surprise, in August, they were informed that it had been decided to close the case without even questioning the suspect. Sfard wrote to Israeli attorney and officer Gil Deshe at the Samaria district of the Israeli police, to ask why. He also asked that a Yesh Din representative be allowed to photocopy the investigation file.

At the end of September, Deshe, replied that the file was closed due to lack of public interest, which is why he would not allow the file to be copied. Sfard has since filed an appeal over the closure of the case. Only following Haaretz questions 10 days ago, regarding the case, was Sfard informed that the file could in fact be copied.

“This story isn’t any different from hundreds of other cases that were closed without [questioning] suspects, without indictments and without even a real investigation,” Sfard told Haaretz. “What was new this time was that I got an official confirmation from the law enforcement system of what we’ve known for a long time: that harm inflicted on a Palestinian farmer doesn’t interest them.” In comments relating to Deshe’s official response, Sfard said Deshe had “so internalized the spirit of the times” that he forgot to engage in a “masquerade” and “simply told the truth: the case was closed because there’s no public interest.”

For its part, the spokesman’s office for the Israel Police in the West Bank said no request to photocopy the file had been made to the prosecutor’s office. “And to the extent that the complainant wishes to do so, he needs to submit an orderly request,” but it did not provide an explanation as to why the case was closed for lack of public interest.

Following Sfard’s filing of an appeal, “the prosecution is examining the investigation file and the existing evidence,” the spokesman’s office said.

The spokesman’s office also said that over the past month, the olive harvest has been taking place in the West Bank, and “security forces are deployed on the ground to prevent friction between the various populations, thereby enabling the Palestinians to harvest the olive trees that they own in their area.”

“The Israel Police regard any act of violence or thuggery as serious, and accordingly, whenever a complaint is received by the police, it is thoroughly investigated to arrive at the truth, regardless of the origin or identity of the victim or offender, or the location of the violation. The statistics presented [showing that most of the cases were closed] are not known to the police, and the extent of their reliability is not clear,” spokesman’s office said.

The statement continued: “What is clear is that in recent years, the police have been working to arrest and prosecute a large number of suspects for causing damage to and stealing Palestinian property. Therefore, despite the relatively low rate of complaints over damage to agricultural property, the police usually act on their own initiative, initiating an investigation and enforcement and prevention operations, together with the Israel army and security forces. The Israel Police will continue to act decisively, openly and covertly, together with the other security forces in the area and at the points of friction to prevent such incidents, enforce the law [and] investigate and prosecute those involved.”

Despite all the brave talk, israel confirms that no further illegal attacks on Syria have taken since Syria received S-300s

Israeli Air Force Shuns Attacks in Syria Since S-300 Delivery – Lawmaker

Sputnik – 05.11.2018

Russia has delivered 49 units of its sophisticated S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems to Syria in wake of the accidental destruction of a Russian Il-20 plane by Syrian air defenses responding to an Israeli attack.

Ksenia Svetlova, who sits on the Israeli parliament’s defense committee has confirmed that Israeli warplanes had not approached Syria’s airspace since Russia supplied it with S-300 missile systems.

“There hasn’t been a single mission since Syria received S-300s. The S-300 has changed the balance of power in the region,” she told reporters.

The statement confirmed the Al-Masdar News report, citing an unnamed military source in Damascus, saying that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) hasn’t attacked Syria since Russia delivered the S-300 air defense system to the Syrian government forces.

The source claimed that the IAF hadn’t violated Syria’s airspace from either the disputed Golan Heights or Lebanon, although it has flown close to the border.

The military insider also denied an anonymous Israeli official’s claim, reported by Reuters, that Tel Aviv had carried out attacks after the downing of the Russian warplane on September 17.

The source further told Al-Masdar that the Russian military was still training the Syrian air defense units to use the S-300s in the provinces of Latakia and Hama.

On October 29, Reuters cited a senior Israeli official as saying that the IDF had attacked Syria, “including after the downing of the Russian plane,” while Israel’s Channel 1 reported that one of the strikes had targeted an alleged Iranian shipment of equipment destined for Hezbollah.

The delivery of 49 units of S-300s was completed in early October after the Russian Defense Ministry announced that it would supply Syria with air defense systems to improve the security of Russian troops stationed there.

The decision was made in the aftermath of the inadvertent destruction of a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft by Syrian air defenses repelling an Israeli air strike.

The Russian military has blamed the wreckage on Tel Aviv, emphasizing that an Israeli fighter jet had used the Russian plane as a shield against Syrian air defense systems. Israel has dismissed the accusations, claiming that it had warned Moscow about the upcoming air raid in the area in advance.

israel (apartheid state) Killed 32 Palestinians including 6 Children in October

Israel Killed 32 Palestinians, 6 Children in October

Israel killed 32 Palestinians – 26 in the besieged Gaza Strip and six in the occupied West Bank – in October, including six children. A further 2,166 others were wounded across the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt).

The figures were issued in a report by the Abdullah Al-Horani Research Centre, affiliated with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Quds Press reported. It noted that 28-year-old Wisam Shalaldeh, who passed away inside an Israeli prison due to medical negligence, was one of those Palestinians killed last month.

The report also said that the Israeli occupation is still holding the bodies of two Palestinians from the neighbourhood of Sair, north of Hebron in the occupied West Bank. Israel claims they were killed after carrying out stabbing attacks, thus raising the number of bodies withheld by Israel to 32.

READ: Israel prevented 763 Palestinians patients from leaving Gaza

The report added that 1,916 Palestinians were wounded in the besieged Gaza Strip, while 250 were wounded in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. It also said that the Israeli occupation arrested a further 525 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in October.

Other crimes committed by the Israeli occupation in October include the demolition of 56 Palestinian homes and facilities, including Al-Tahaddi School in the suburbs of Tubas, south of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

READ: Israel extremists coached murderers of Palestinian mum to withstand interrogation

In addition, the report added that the Israeli authorities approved the construction of thousands of new settlement units and confiscated hundreds of dunams of Palestinians land, as well as uprooting hundreds of trees.

The report also mentioned that attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers had increased last month, highlighting the killing of 45-year-old Palestinian mother Aisha Al-Rabi near the Israeli military checkpoint of Zaatara.

Unpunished settlers attacks against Palestinians have multiplied – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

israeli (apartheid state) Attacks on Media Expand and Grow More Violent

Israeli Attacks on Media Expand and Grow More Violent

 

In 2013 , the UN General Assembly proclaimed November 2nd to be an International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, by virtue of Resolution 68/163.

The aim of this resolution is to confront the culture of impunity for perpetrators of crimes and attacks against journalists, and to empower the victims with justice. In 9 out of 10 cases in which journalists were slain, the perpetrators are not held accountable. Thus, the resolution also aims to provide a safe environment for journalists and enable them to perform their work without interference.

Across the Occupied Palestinian Territories, attacks against journalists and media freedoms, especially those committed by Israel, have escalated with a quickening pace, and have become even more violent and dangerous.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms, “MADA”, documented 474 attacks against media freedoms in Palestine, since the beginning of the year. Of these attacks, Israeli forces committed a total of 372, around 78% of all documented attacks.

Noting that the majority of all documented attacks committed by Israeli forces fell under the categories of “dangerous attacks” and “grave breaches”, the most serious and dangerous of these was the killing of two Palestinian journalists, Yasser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein, during the coverage of the Great March of Return, in Gaza, in two separate incidents. Both journalists were clearly identifiable by their press vests and were located hundreds of meters away from the border fence. They posed no imminent threat to occupation forces, but were rather performing their duties, this all in addition to the targeting and injuring scores of Palestinian journalists, over the past ten months, with live ammunition and explosive bullets.

According to MADA Center, literally hundreds of other attacks against journalists in Palestine have been carried out, over the past few years. A total of 43 Palestinian journalists have been killed by Israeli forces since the year 2000. MADA has reiterated its commitment to continue working with various partners locally, regionally and internationally, in order to put an end to the culture of impunity enjoyed by Israel, and to realize the objectives that the UN resolution aims at achieving.

Finally, MADA, in collaboration with the Civil Commission for the Independence of Judiciary and Rule of Law (ISTIQLAL), has organized a competition for the best moot court for law students of across Palestinian universities, to defend freedom of expression and to shed light on this culture of impunity. The outcome of the competition will be held on November 8, 2018, in the occupied West Bank. MADA will also organize another event, on the occasion of the international day, in collaboration with the Committee, to support journalists on this occasion in Gaza City, on Saturday, the 3rd of November, 2018.

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