Polish Restitution Law – Holocaust vs. Nakba

February 14, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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Reported by Gilad Atzmon

We learned today that the Polish Justice Ministry is reviewing draft legislation regarding the restitution of Jewish property confiscated during and after the Holocaust.

On Wednesday, the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) expressed concern over the delay of the law. “Elderly Jewish and non-Jewish claimants who have waited over 70 years for justice for their lost property cannot wait any longer,” said Gideon Taylor, the WJRO chair of operations and I wonder how long the ethnically cleansed Palestinian should wait before the Jewish State and the WJRO acknowledge their right to reclaim their land, villages, houses, fields and orchards or shall we just say Palestine?  

One may wonder how is it possible that Jewish institutions are so dedicated to the restitution of Jewish property while being completely dismissive of the exact same right when it comes to the Palestinians. I guess that choseness is a possible answer. Jewish victimhood is to often blind to other victims, especially those who were victimised by the Jewish State.

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Achieving a Palestinian Right Of Return

February 15, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Eve Mykytyn

The Middle East Monitor reported this week that The Committee of the March of Return has announced that Palestinian refugees will start peace marches towards Israel to return to their homes. The Monitor quotes the Committee:

“The 1948 war ended 70 years ago and there is no reason that refugees should remain away from their homes…returning is your right…There is no longer any point in waiting for just political solutions that will return the refugees to their homes or prevent the occupation from settlement, land confiscation, repeated aggression and siege.”

For most Americans whose exposure to the conflict has been limited to Israel’s version, this may seem surprising. Zionists have been inordinately successful in controlling the narrative in the US. I can’t think of another conflict in which, for so long, the victors got away with blaming the indigenous people whom they ousted.

It may be that the only effective option the Palestinians have to regain their land is to return to their property. The act of reclaiming their property puts the lie to Israel’s claim that it was never Palestinian property to begin with.

Instead, under its law of return, Israel offers citizenship to all Jews, their spouses, children and grandchildren. This is a law like no other, since Jews are not defined by religion or place of birth; it is purely and openly race-based.

How can Zionism justify  taking  land from Palestinians and offering it to any Jew?  First there is the somewhat tortured biblical explanation. For the secular and political, the Zionist narrative relies upon the supposed nonexistence of Palestinians  and with Palestinians ‘running away’ and thereby somehow losing rights to land. (Presumably this logic does not apply to holocaust survivors who fought relentlessly to get back their assets.) Leaving aside the falsity of these allegations, even if true, do they really matter?  Seventy years ago and ever since, Israel has claimed land belonging to others.

A peaceful return by Palestinian refugees will likely disrupt the flow of Israel’s depiction of itself as the victim and place the Palestinians in their rightful place as the ousted owners of the land.

This is a dangerous situation. Nothing Israel has done in the 70 years of its existence indicates that Israel will voluntarily relinquish land to the Palestinians. We can assume that those who profited from stolen goods in World War II would not have returned a thing had those with ownership claims not asserted them. Similarly, and much more crucially, Palestinians have no hope to regain any of their property without asserting ownership.

I would not be so brave. There is no doubt that such Palestinian action will be met with violence. I’ve always wondered at the bravery of those who effect this kind of change. History is replete with scenes of masses of civilians fighting heavily armed soldiers. I wonder, how can their leaders urge them to battle when so many will die? I think I am beginning to understand. Their circumstances are such that change may never come about in any other way.

For years, Palestinians have protested by martyring themselves, attacking Israelis, joining the knesset, boycotting Israeli goods, etc. These techniques have had limited success. Palestinians have been ‘allowed’ ever decreasing freedoms and land. I don’t envy the Palestinians their battle.

Examining ‘Ten Myths about israel’, by Ilan Pappe

Source

 This review of the book “Ten Myths About Israel’ by Ilan Pappe will appear in the Winter 2018 ISSUES, the quarterly journal of the American Council for Judaism. The book is published by Verso

The Middle East remains a subject of increasing examination and debate.  The prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians seem to be receding.  Early in 2018, Israel’s ruling Likud Party unanimously endorsed a resolution calling for the annexation of West Bank settlements.  This decision marked the latest step by Likud to distance itself from the internationally backed idea of establishing an independent Palestinian state as part of a future peace agreement. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan declared:  “We are telling the world that it doesn’t matter what the nations  of the world say.  The time has come to express our biblical right to the land.”

Much of the world’s understanding of the conflicting claims to historic Palestine is confused.  We have heard over the years of “an Israeli narrative” and a “Palestinian narrative.”  There have been too few efforts to understand what really has happened in this region, and to arrive at some agreement about where myth ends and facts begin.  In this book, written on the 50th anniversary of Israel’s  occupation of the West  Bank and East Jerusalem, Professor Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian now teaching at the University of Exeter in  the United Kingdom,  examines the most contested ideas concerning the origins and identity of the contemporary state of Israel.

The “ten myths” that Pappe explores reinforce the regional status quo.  He explores the claim that Palestine was an empty land at the time of the Balfour Declaration, as well as the formation of Zionism and its role in the early decades of nation building.  He asks whether the Palestinians voluntarily left their homeland in 1948, and whether June 1967 was a war of “no choice.” Turning to the myths surrounding the failures of the Camp David Accords and the official reasons for the attacks on Gaza, he explains why the two state solution, in his view, is no longer viable.

Historical Disinformation

“As the example of the Israel-Palestine conflict shows,” writes Pappe, “historical disinformation, even of the most recent past, can do tremendous harm.  This willful misunderstanding of history can promote oppression and protect a regime of colonization and occupation.  It is not surprising, therefore, that policies of disinformation continue to the present and play an important part in perpetuating the conflict…The Zionist historical account of how the disputed land became the state of Israel is based on a cluster of myths that subtly cast doubt on the Palestinians’ moral right to the land…This book challenges these myths, which appear in the public domain as indisputable truths.  These statements are, to my eyes, distortions and fabrications that can—and must—be refuted through a closer examination of the historical record.”

The author begins by admitting that, “This is not a balanced book; it is yet another attempt to redress the balance of power on behalf of the colonized, occupied and oppressed Palestinians in the land of Israel and Palestine. It would be a real bonus if advocates of Zionism or loyal supporters of Israel were also willing to engage with the arguments herein.  After all, the book is written by an Israeli Jew who cares about his own society as much as he does the Palestinian one.  Refuting mythologies that sustain injustice should be of benefit to everyone living in the country or wishing to live there.  It forms a basis on which all its inhabitants might enjoy the great achievements that only one privileged group currently has access to.”

The first myth which is confronted is the Zionist claim that Palestine was an empty land.  There is a consensus among scholars that it was the Romans who gave the land the name “Palestine.” During the period of Roman and, later, Byzantine, rule it was an imperial province.  Various Muslim empires aspired to control it, since it was home to the second holiest place in Islam and was also fertile and in a strategic location.  The Ottoman period began in 1517 and lasted 400 years.  When the Ottomans arrived, they found a society that was mostly Sunni Muslim  and rural, with small urban elites who spoke Arabic.  Less than 5 per cent of the population was Jewish and probably 10 to 15 per cent Christian.

Jewish Population of 2 to 5 Per Cent

Historian Yonatan Mendel notes that, “The exact percentage of Jews prior to the rise of Zionism is unknown.  However, it probably ranged from 2 to 5 per cent.  According to Ottoman records, a total population of 462,465 resided in 1878 in what is today Israel/Palestine.  Of this number, 403,795 (87 per cent) were Muslim, 43,659 (10 per cent) were Christian and 15,011 (3 per cent) were Jewish.”

Those who receive their information from official Israeli sources, Pappe shows, would come away with the view that, “Sixteenth-century Palestine… was mainly Jewish  and the commercial lifeblood of the region was concentrated in the Jewish communities.”  According to the Website of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Pappe points out, “By 1800, Palestine had become a desert…Every passing year the land became more barren, deforestation increased and farmland turned to desert.  Promoted through an official state website this fabricated picture is unprecedented.”

Many Israeli scholars have challenged this false narrative, among them David Grossman (the demographer not the novelist), Amnon Cohen and Yehoushua Ben-Arieh.  Their research shows that, over the centuries, Palestine, rather than being a desert, was a thriving Arab society.  Yet, Pappe reports, “Outside of Israel, in particular in the United States, the assumption that the promised land was empty, desolate, and barren before the arrival of Zionism is still alive and kicking…Palestine began to develop as a nation long before the arrival of the Zionist movement. In the hands of energetic local rulers such as Daher al-Umar (1690-1775), the towns of Haifa, Shefamr, Tiberias, and Acre were renovated and re-energized. The coastal network of ports and towns boomed through its trade connections with Europe, while the inner plains traded inland with nearby regions.  The very opposite of a desert.”

Sizeable Population

At the end of the 19th century, Palestine had a sizeable population, of which only a small percentage was Jewish.  Those Jews who did live in Palestine at this time were opposed to the ideas promoted  by Zionism.  Contrary to the notion of Palestine being an “empty land,” Pappe shows that, “It was part of a rich and fertile eastern Mediterranean world that in the 19th century underwent processes of modernization and nationalization.  It was not a desert waiting to come into bloom;  it was a pastoral country  on the verge of entering the 20th century as a modern society, with all the benefits and ills of such a transformation.  Its colonization by the Zionist movement turned this process into a disaster for the majority of the native people living there.”

The second myth considered is that, “The Jews Were a People Without a Land.” Asking whether the Jewish settlers who arrived in Palestine could be considered “a people,” Pappe cites Shlomo Sand’s “The Invention of the Jewish People,” which shows that the Christian world, in its own interest, adopted the idea of the Jews as a nation that must one day return to the holy land.  This return, in their view, would be part of the divine scheme for the end of the world, along with the resurrection of the dead and the second coming of the Messiah.

The theological upheavals of the Reformation beginning in the 16th century produced a clear association, particularly among Protestants, between the idea of the end of the millennium and the conversion of the Jews and their return to Palestine.  Thomas Brightman, a 16th century English clergyman, wrote, “Shall they return to Jerusalem again?  There is nothing more certain:  the prophets do everywhere confirm it and beat about it.”  Brightman wished the Jews either to convert to Christianity or leave Europe.  A hundred years later, Henry Oldenburg, a German theologian, wrote:  “If the occasion presents itself amid changes to which human affairs are liable, the Jews may even raise their empire anew, and…God may elect them a second time.”

A Christian Project of Colonization

“Zionism,” writes Pappe, “was therefore a Christian project of colonization before it became a Jewish one… A powerful theological and imperial movement emerged that would put the return of the Jews to Palestine at the heart of a strategic plan to take over Palestine and turn it into a Christian entity… This dangerous blend of religious fervor and and reformist zeal…would lead to the Balfour Declaration of 1917.”

An important advocate of a Jewish return to Palestine in England in the 19th century was Lord  Shaftesbury (1801-85), a leading politician and reformer, who campaigned actively for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.  His arguments for a greater British presence in Palestine were both religious and strategic.  As Pappe reports, “Lord Shaftesbury convinced the Anglican bishopric center and cathedral in Jerusalem to provide the early funding for this project.  This would probably not have happened at all had Shaftesbury not succeeded in recruiting his father in law, Britain’s foreign minister and later prime minister, Lord Palmerston, to the cause.”

In 1839, Shaftesbury wrote a 30-page article in The London Quarterly Review in which he predicted a new era for the Jews:  “…the Jews must be encouraged to return in yet greater number and become once more the husbandman of Judea and Galilee…though admittedly a stiff-necked people and sunk in moral degradation, obduracy, and ignorance of the Gospel, (they are) not only worthy of salvation but also vital to Christianity’s hope and salvation.”

There has been much speculation, Pappe points out, about whether the Jews who settled in Palestine as Zionists were really the descendants of the Jews who had been exiled 2,000 years ago.  Arthur Koestler (1905-83) wrote “The Thirteenth Tribe” (1976)  in which he advanced the theory that the Jewish settlers were descended from the Khazars, a Turkish  nation of the Caucasus which converted to Judaism in the 8th century and was later forced to move westward.  Israeli scientists have ever since tried to prove that there is a  genetic connection between the Jews of Roman Palestine and those of present-day Palestine.  That debate continues today.

Israel’s Claim to Represent all Jews

“It is not the claims of 19th century Zionism, it is not the historical accuracy of those claims that matters,” argues Pappe.  “What matters is not whether the present Jews in Israel are the authentic descendants of those who lived in the Roman era, but rather the state of Israel’s insistence that it represents all the Jews in the world and that everything it does is for their sake and on their behalf.  Until 1967, this claim was very helpful for the state of Israel.  Jews around the world, particularly in the United States, became its main supporters whenever its policies were questioned.  In many respects, this is still the case in the U.S. today.  However, even there, as well as in other Jewish communities, this clear association is nowadays challenged.”

In making the case that Jews were a nation belonging to Palestine, and therefore should be helped to return to it, Pappe notes, “They had to rely on British officials and, later, military power.  Jews and the world at large did not seem to be convinced that the Jews were a people without a land.  Shaftesbury, Finn, Balfour, and Lloyd George liked the idea because it helped Britain gain a foothold in Palestine.  This became immaterial after the British took Palestine by force and then had to decide from a new starting point whether the land was Jewish or Palestinian—a question it could never properly answer, and therefore had to leave to others to resolve after 30 years of frustrating rule.”

Of particular interest is the chapter dealing with the myth that, “Zionism is Judaism.”  In fact, Zionism was originally a minority opinion among Jews.  “Since its inception in the mid-19th century,” writes Pappe, “Zionism was only one, inessential expression of Jewish cultural life. It was born out of two impulses among Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe.  The first was a search for safety within a society that refused to integrate Jews as equals and that occasionally persecuted them… The second impulse was a wish to emulate other new national movements mushrooming in Europe at the time… Those Jews who sought to transform Judaism from a religion into a nation were not unique among the many ethnic and religious groups within the two crumbling empires—the Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman—who wished to redefine themselves as nations.”

Redefinition of Judaism

The early Zionists put forward two new ideas:  the redefinition of Judaism as a national movement and the need to colonize Palestine.  These ideas became more popular after a brutal wave of pogroms in Russia in 1881, which transformed them into a political program propagated by a movement called “The Lovers of Zion,” who sent a few enthusiastic young Jews to build the first new colonies in Palestine in 1882.  This first phase of Zionism culminated with the works and actions of Theodor Herzl, a journalist and an atheist with no connection to Jewish religious life.  He came to the conclusion that widespread anti-Semitism made assimilation impossible and that a Jewish state in Palestine was the best solution for the “Jewish Problem.”

While such ideas gained some support in countries such as Russia, where Jews were second-class citizens, Pappe writes that, “As these early Zionist ideas were aired among Jewish communities in countries such as Germany and the United States, prominent rabbis and leading figures in those communities rejected the new approach. religious leaders dismissed Zionism as a form of secularization and modernization, while secular Jews feared that the new ideas would raise questions about the Jews’ loyalty to their own nation-states and would thus increase anti-Semitism.”

Reform Judaism rejected the Zionist idea and proclaimed that Judaism was a religion of universal values, not a nationality. Later, it reconciled itself to the Zionist idea. The older Reform philosophy, Pappe declares, has been kept alive by the American Council for Judaism. He writes: “When the Reformists first encountered Zionism, they vehemently rejected the idea of redefining Judaism as nationalism and the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. However, their anti-Zionist stance shifted after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. In the second half of the 20th century, the majority among them created a new Reform movement in the U.S… However, a large number of Jews left the new movement and set up the American Council for Judaism (ACJ), which reminded the world… that Zionism was still a minority view among Jews, and remained loyal to the old Reformist notions about Zionism.”

In 1869, Reform Jews in the U.S. made the point that, “The messianic aim of Israel (I.e., the Jewish people) is not the restoration of a Jewish state under a descendant of David, involving a second separation from the nation’s of earth, but the Union of the children of God in the confession of the unity of God, so as to realize the unity of all national creatures and their call to moral sanctification.”

No Longer A Nation But A Religious Community

In 1885, another Reform group, meeting in Pittsburgh, declared: “We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community, and we therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any laws concerning the Jewish state.”

In 1897, the same year as the first Zionist conference was convened in Basel, Switzerland, a socialist Jewish movement was born in Russia, the Bund. Bund members believed that a socialist revolution would be a far better solution to the problems of Jews in Europe than Zionism. Even after the Holocaust, Bundists were convinced that Jews should seek a place in societies that cherish human and civil rights, and did not see a Jewish nation state as a panacea.

Another critique of Zionism came from Orthodox Jews. Pappe notes that, “When Zionism made its first appearance in Europe, many traditional rabbis in fact forbade their followers from having anything to do with Zionist activists. They viewed Zionism as meddling with God’s will to retain the Jews in exile until the coming of the Messiah… The great Hasidic German Rabbi Dzikover… said that Zionism asks him to replace centuries of Jewish wisdom and law for a rag, soil and a song (I.e., a flag, a land and an anthem).”

The Zionists not only sought to colonize Palestine but, as Pappe shows, “…it also hoped to secularize the Jewish people, to invent the ‘new Jew’ in antithesis to the religious Orthodox Jews of Europe… The Orthodox Jew was ridiculed by the Zionists, and was viewed as someone who could only be redeemed through hard work in Palestine… The role of the Bible within Jewish life offered one further clear difference between Judaism and Zionism… the Bible provided ‘the myth for our right over the land.’ It was in the Bible that they read stories about Hebrew farmers, shepherds, kings, and wars, which they appropriated as describing the ancient golden era of their nation’s birth. Returning to the land meant coming back to become farmers , shepherds and kings. Thus, they found themselves faced with a challenging paradox, for they wanted both to secularize Jewish life and to use the Bible as a publication for colonizing Palestine. In other words, though they did not believe in God, He had nonetheless promised them Palestine.”

Palestine Was Not Empty

Another myth which Pappe confronts is, “Zionism Is Not Colonialism.” When the first Zionist settlers arrived in 1882, the land of Palestine was not empty. In fact, he writes, “This fact was known to the Zionist leaders even before the first Jewish settlers arrived. A delegation sent to Palestine by the early Zionist organizations reported back to their colleagues: ‘The bride is beautiful, but married to another man.’ Nevertheless, when they first arrived, the early settlers were surprised to encounter the locals whom they regarded as invaders and strangers. In their view, the native Palestinians had usurped their homeland. They were told by their leaders that the locals were not natives, that they had no rights to the land. Instead, they were a problem that had to, and could, be resolved.”

None of this, Pappe argues, was unique because “Zionism was a settler colonial movement, similar to the movements of Europeans who had colonized the two Americas, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand… Settler colonialism is motivated by a desire to take over land in a foreign country, while classical colonialism covets the natural resources in its new geographic possession… The problem was that the new ‘homelands’ were already inhabited by other people. In response, the settler communities argued that the new land was theirs by divine or moral right, even if, in cases other than Zionism, they did not claim to have lived there thousands of years ago. In many cases, the accepted method for overcoming such obstacles was the genocide of the indigenous locals.”

From the beginning, Palestinian resistance was depicted as motivated by hate for Jews. The diaries of the early Zionists tell a different story, They are filled with anecdotes revealing how the settlers were well received by the Palestinians, who offered them shelter and in many cases taught them how to cultivate the land. “Only when it became clear that the settlers had not come to live alongside the native population, but in place of it, did the Palestinian resistance begin,” writes Pappe. “And when that resistance started, it quickly took the form of every other anti-colonialist struggle.”

Shared Representation

In 1928, the Palestinian leadership, notwithstanding the wishes of the majority of their people, consented to allow the Jewish settlers equal representation in the future bodies of the state. The Zionist leadership was in favor of the idea only as long as it believed the Palestinians would reject it. Shared representation was the opposite of what the Zionists wanted. When the proposal was accepted by the Palestinians, it was rejected by the Zionists. This led to the riots of 1929. Even in 1947, when Britain decided to refer the question to the United Nations, the Palestinians suggested with other Arab states, a unitary state to replace the Mandate in Palestine, with equal rights for Jews and Arabs. This the Zionists rejected.

In Pappe’s view, “One can depict Zionism as a settler colonial movement and the Palestinian national movement as an anticolonial one…. By 1945, Zionism had attracted more than half a million settlers to a country whose population was about 2 million… The settlers’ only way of expanding their hold on the land…and of ensuring an exclusive demographic majority was to remove the natives from their homeland… Palestine is not entirely Jewish demographically, and although Israel controls all of it politically by various means, the state of Israel is still colonizing—building new settlements in the Galilee, the Negev, and the West Bank…”

The Israeli government has long promoted the idea that the Palestinians voluntarily left their homeland in 1948. It has promoted the idea that Palestinians fled their villages of their own accord or on orders from Arab armies that wanted them out of the way. There was no obligation on Israel, therefore, to let Palestinians return since, according to this argument, their displacement was not Israel’s responsibility. Any “infiltrators” who tried to go back were criminals. In the late 1980’s, Israel’s so-called “new historians,” notably Benny Morris, examined newly opened Israeli archives and found no evidence that the refugees fled on orders from Arab leaders, but had done so mostly out of terror, after hearing reports of massacres carried out by Israeli soldiers in villages such as Deir Yassin, where Jewish militiamen killed over 100 Palestinian civilians.

Transferring The Palestinians

This idea that the Palestinians left voluntarily is another of the “myths” Pappe confronts. He writes that, “The Zionist leadership and ideologues could not envision a successful implementation of their project without getting rid of the native population, either through agreement or by force. More recently, after years of denial, Zionist historians such as Anita Shapira have accepted that their heroes, the leaders of the Zionist movement, seriously contemplated transferring the Palestinians.”

In 1937, David Ben-Gurion told the Zionist assembly, “In many parts of the country, it will not be possible to settle without transferring the Arab fellahin… With compulsory transfer we would have a vast area for settlement… I support compulsory transfer. I don’t see anything immoral in it.”

In his book “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,” Pappe examines the development of a master plan for the massive expulsion on the Palestinians. Officially, the Israeli government maintains the claim that Palestinians became refugees because their leaders told them to leave. “But,” he writes, “there was no such call—it is a myth created by the Israeli foreign ministry… What is clear is that the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians can in no way be justified as a ‘punishment’ for their rejecting a U.N. peace plan that was devised without any consultation with the Palestinians themselves.”

Israel’s master plan, Plan D, which had been prepared alongside the high command of the Haganah, the main Jewish military wing, included the following clear references to the methods to be employed in the process of cleansing the population: “Destruction of villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines in the debris), especially those population centers which are difficult to control continuously. Mounting search and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the village and conducting a search inside it. In the event of resistance, the armed force must be destroyed and the population must be expelled outside the borders of the state.”

War Crime

Pappe declares that, “From the present vantage point, there is no escape from defining the Israeli actions in the Palestinian countryside as a war crime… The crime committed by the leadership of the Zionist movement, which became the government of Israel, was that of ethnic cleansing. This is not mere rhetoric, but an indictment with far-reaching political, legal and moral obligations. The definition of the crime was clarified in the aftermath of the 1990’s civil war in the Balkans: ethnic cleansing is any action by one ethnic group meant to drive out another ethnic group with the purpose of transforming a mixed ethnic region into a pure one. Such an action amounts to ethnic cleansing regardless of the means employed to obtain it—from persuasion and threats to expulsions and mass killings.”

It is important to remember, Pappe points out, that, “There are Jews in Israel who have absorbed all these lessons. Not all Jews are indifferent to or ignorant of the Nakba. Those who are not are currently a small minority, but one which makes its presence felt, demonstrating that at least some Jewish citizens are not deaf to the cries, pain, and devastation of those killed, raped, or wounded throughout 1948.”

Other myths confronted by the author include: “The June 1967 War Was A War of ‘No Choice,” “Israel Is The Only Democracy In The Middle Esst,” “The Oslo Mythologies,” “The Gaza Mythologies,” and “The Two-States Solution Is The Only Way Forward.”

In the case of the 1967 war, the accepted narrative is that the 1967 war forced Israel to occupy the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and keep it in custody until the Palestinians were prepared to make peace. Many think that the 1967 war was one in which Israel was resisting attack and occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza in self-defense. The fact is that it was Israel which launched the first strike against Egypt in 1967. Prime Minister Menachem Begin later said: “In June 1967 we again had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentration in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack them.”

Zionist Aim Before 1948

In reality, Pappe believes, “…the takeover of the West Bank in particular, with its ancient biblical sights, was a Zionist aim even before 1948 and it fitted the logic of the Zionist project as a whole. This logic can be summarized as the wish to take over as much of Palestine as possible with as few Palestinians as possible… After the occupation, the new ruler confined the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in an impossible limbo: they were neither refugees nor citizens—they were, and still are, citizenless inhabitants. They were inmates, and in many respects still are, of a huge prison in which they have no civil, and human rights and no impact on their future. The world tolerates this situation because Israel claims —and the claim was never challenged until recently—that the situation is temporary…Israel is still incarcerating a third generation of Palestinians…and depicting these mega-prisons as temporary…”

With regard to Israel’s claim to be the only “democracy” in the Middle East, Pappe points to the fact that, even before 1967, Palestinians, who represented 20% of Israel’s citizens, lived under “military rule based on draconian British Mandatory emergency regulations that denied… any basic human or civil rights. Local military governors were the absolute rulers of the lives of these citizens: they could devise special laws for them, destroy their houses and livelihoods and send them to jail whenever they felt like it. Only in the late 1950’s did a strong Jewish opposition to these abuses emerge, which eventually eased the pressure on the Palestinian citizens.”

The state of “military terror” under which Palestinians lived, notes Pappe, is “exemplified by the Kafr Qasim massacre in October 1956, when, on the eve of the Sinai operation, 49 Palestinian citizens were killed by the Israeli army. The authorities alleged that they were late returning home from work in the fields when a curfew had been imposed on the village. This was not the real reason, however. Later proofs show that Israel had seriously considered the expulsion of Palestinians from the whole area called Wadi Ara and the Triangle in which the village sat… These two areas… were annexed to Israel under the terms of the 1949 armistice agreement with Jordan… Additional territory was always welcomed by Israel, but an increase in the Palestinian population was not… Operation ‘Hafarfert’ (mole) was the code name of a set of proposals for the expulsion of the Palestinians when a new war broke out… Many scholars today now think that the 1956 massacre was a practice run to see if the people in the area could be intimidated to leave.”

Law of Return

Israel’s Law of Return grants automatic citizenship to every Jew in the world, wherever he or she was born. In Pappe’s view, “This law…is a flagrantly undemocratic one, for it was accompanied by a total rejection of the Palestinian right of return—recognized internationally by the U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 of 1948. This rejection refuses to allow the Palestinian citizens of Israel to unite with immediate family members or with those who were expelled in 1948. Denying people the right to return to their homeland, and at the same time offering the right to others who have no connection to the land is a model of undemocratic process.”

Other aspects of life in Israel, Pappe shows, makes the claim to “democracy” questionable. Since 1948, Palestinian municipalities have received far less funding than their Jewish counterparts. The most affluent Palestinian community, the village of Me’ilva in the upper Galilee, is still worse off than the poorest Jewish development town in the Negev. At the same time, more than 90 per cent of the land is owned by the Jewish National Fund (JNF). Landowners are not allowed to engage in transactions with non-Jewish citizens and public land is prioritized for the use of national projects, which means that new Jewish settlements are being built while there are hardly any new Palestinian settlements. The biggest Palestinian city, Nazareth, despite the tripling of its population since 1948, has not expanded one square kilometer, whereas the development town built above it, Upper Nazareth, has tripled in size, on land expropriated from Palestinian landowners.

“Imagine,” writes Pappe, “if in the UK or the U.S., Jewish citizens, or Catholics for that matter, were barred by law from living in certain villages, neighborhoods, or maybe whole towns? How can such a situation be reconciled with the notion of democracy?… [Israel] cannot by any stretch of the imagination, be assumed to be a democracy.” When it comes to Palestinians living in the occupied territories, he declares, “the humiliation of millions of Palestinians is a daily routine, ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ behaves as a dictatorship of the worst kind.”

Unlawful Killings and Torture

Amnesty International annually documents the nature of the occupation. Its 2015 report provided this assessment: “In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Israeli forces committed unlawful killings of Palestinian civilians, including children, and detained thousands of Palestinians who protested against or otherwise opposed Israel’s continuing military occupation, holding hundreds in administrative detention. Torture and other ill treatment remained rife and were committed with impunity. The authorities continued to promote illegal settlements in the West Bank and severely restricted Palestinians’ freedom of movement… The authorities continued to demolish Palestinian homes on the West Bank and inside Israel, particularly in Bedouin villages in the Negev/Naqab region, forcibly evicting their residents.”

On September 13, 1993, Israel and the PLO signed a declaration of principles, known as the Oslo Accord. Pappe argues that “…we should acknowledge that the Oslo process was not a fair and equal pursuit of peace, but a compromise agreed to by a defeated, colonized people. As a result, the Palestinians were forced to seek solutions that went against their interests and endangered their very existence. The same argument can be made about the debates concerning the ‘two-state solution’ that was offered in Oslo. This offer should be seen for what it is: partition under a different wording. Even in this scenario…Israel would not only decide how much territory it was going to concede but also what would happen in the territory it left behind.”

In the original Accords there was an Israeli promise that the three issues that trouble the Palestinians most—the fate of Jerusalem, the refugees, and the Jewish settlements—would be negotiated when the interim period of five years came to a successful end. This process, however, was stalled by the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, followed by the victory of Likud, headed by Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996. Netanyahu opposed the Oslo Accords and the process came to a halt.

Camp David

Later, under Ehud Barak, Israel’s final offer was made at Camp David in 2000. Israel proposed a small Palestinian state with a capital in Abu Dis, but without significant dismantling of any settlements and no hope for the return of the refugees. The negotiations collapsed. “After 1995,” writes Pappe, “the impact of the Oslo Accord as a factor that ruined Palestinian society, rather than bringing peace, became painfully clear… the Accord became a discourse of peace that had no relevance to the reality on the ground. During the period of the talks—between 1996 and 1999—more settlements were built, and more collective punishments were inflicted on the Palestinians. Even if you believed in the two-state solution in 1999, a tour of either the West Bank or the Gaza Strip would have convinced you of the words of the Israeli scholar, Meron Benvenisti, who wrote that Israel had created irreversible facts on the ground: the two-state solution was killed by Israel.”

Looking to the future, Pappe believes that the declaration that, “The two states solution is the only way forward” is yet another myth. He notes that, “Any criticism of this myth is often branded as anti-Semitism. However, in many ways the opposite is true: there is a connection between the new anti-Semitism and the myth itself. The two-states solution is based on the idea that a Jewish state is the best solution for the Jewish problem; that is, Jews should live in Palestine rather than anywhere else. This notion is also close to the hearts of anti-Semites. The two-states solution, indirectly one should say, is based on the assumption that Israel and Judaism are the same. Thus, Israel insists that what it does, it does in the name of Judaism, and when its actions are rejected by people around the world the criticism is not only directed toward Israel but also towards Judaism… It seems that nothing is going to stop Israel now from completing its colonization of the West Bank and continuing its siege on Gaza.”

What will happen as Israel abandons the two-state solution remains a subject of much speculation. It is important for the world, and in particular for Jews, to understand what has occurred in Palestine in historical terms. Pappe puts it in this perspective: “After World War ll, Zionism was allowed to become a colonialist project at a time when colonialism was being rejected by the civilized world because the creation of a Jewish state offered Europe, and West Germany in particular, an easy way out of the worst excesses of anti-Semitism ever seen. Israel was the first to declare its recognition of ‘a new Germany’—in return it received a lot of money, but also, far more importantly a carte blanche to turn the whole of Palestine into Israel. Zionism offered itself as the solution to anti-Semitism, but became the main reason for its continued presence.”

A Just Solution

A just solution to the dilemma of Palestine will, Pappe concludes, only be achieved if we stop treating the mythologies he sets forth as truths: “Palestine was not empty and the Jewish people had homelands; Palestine was colonized, not ‘redeemed’; and its people were dispossessed in 1948, rather than leaving voluntarily. Colonized people, even under the U.N. Charter, have the right to struggle for their liberation…and the successful ending to such a struggle lies in the creation of a democratic state that includes all of its inhabitants.”

Since Ilan Pappe completed his book, Israel has moved even further away from a two state solution. The ruling Likud Party’s central committee, early in 2018, endorsed a resolution calling for the annexation of the West Bank settlements. Prime Minister Netanyahu no longer speaks of the establishment of a Palestinian state. The very idea of a Palestinian state ever coming into existence is rejected by Israel’s current government.

To understand how we have come to this point, and to consider how, in the face of the latest developments, we can look forward to a more hopeful future, this important book by Ilan Pappe is essential reading. Abandoning myths and confronting reality is an important first step forward

Ahed #Tamimi speaks

OpEdNews
Ahed Tamimi’s Speech at Brussels Women’s Conference

Ahed Tamimi speaking at the The Role of Women in the Palestinian Popular Struggle Conference (Image by Alberto Hugo Rojas)

Ahed Tamimi spoke with grace and eloquence at a 2017 conference on the role of women in the Palestinian struggle. She noted, “we’re not fighting against the Jews, we are fighting Zionism…Jewish people are also victims of Zionism… please, supporters, show your solidarity…it’s incumbent on everyone in the world to find the solution.”

The European Parliament in Brussels hosted a conference on the role of women in the Palestinian popular struggle on Sept 26, 2017. Ahed Tamimi, who was 16 at the time, was one of the featured speakers.

In a Newsweek oped, I Watched Ahed Tamimi Grow Up And I Know Why She Defended Her Home, Mariam Barghouti writes, “Ahed, now 16, was once the shy girl that barely whispered whenever she was asked questions. Her voice was sweet and it lent itself to a vulnerability that makes you tread carefully and with kindness…(she was) barely nine when protests began…The little girl with the shy voice realized at a young age that she could not afford to be quiet, that whispers are a luxury afforded (to) those that do not have to defend their homes from daily raids, from land annexation, or incarceration.”

Ahed’s mother, Nariman, was scheduled to be at this conference with her, but had to cancel when Ahed’s brother was shot the day before. And yet, Ahed was poised and articulate:

Palestinian women are) suffering day after day after day. We need to overcome our own fears because we really are in an extremely difficult situation…believe me, when I say the situation is almost unimaginable…Can you really understand everything that’s going on in Palestine? It’s difficult when you’re so far away, to understand the day-to-day problems that we face.

She appropriately placed some responsibility at the feet of the world community:

I’ve come here to try and explain to you what the situation is, and to remind you of the situation that we live in… the reason is, you have a responsibility (to) Palestinian people.

We’re paying the price for the Holocaust, which took place in Europe, and that’s having negative repercussions in our lives.

I think that you have a responsibility to not just help us, but also to show solidarity and to demand with all authorities that the Palestinian struggle should be seen as a humanitarian struggle.

…it’s incumbent on everyone in the world to find the solution.

And she clarified what the Palestinians are resisting, noting they are not resisting Jews:

The struggle in Israel and Palestine is not just a struggle between two peoples.

In the media we always see comments which say that we don’t respect the Jews; we don’t respect the Jewish state…

But we’re not fighting against the Jews, we are fighting Zionism.

…We have nothing against the Jewish people…we have a problem with Zionism, and the racism we face on a daily basis.

Zionism is pushing the Palestinian people into the abyss. We suffer from Zionism.

Furthermore, Zionism is also affecting the Jewish people, themselves. It’s affecting those Jewish people who show solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

These Jewish people are also victims of Zionism.

It’s not only the Jewish people who show solidarity with Palestine who are victims. The children of Zionism who are being cultivated to kill, maim, torture and destroy other children, are victimized as well.

Oftentimes the ages of the Israeli soldiers and the Palestinian children they shoot are so close, if they lived in America, they might be high schoolers partying together on a Saturday night. Instead, they are pitted against each other, fueled by the ancient rage of toxic patriarchy.

Ahed continued, comparing the apartheid situation that Palestinians endure, with that of South Africa:

While (I was in South Africa) I learned a lot while I was seeing what had happened in the past. Israel is trying to impose its system, it’s trying to impose racial hostility, trying to impose racism, it’s trying to impose the racial and religious struggle in a similar manner as was seen in South Africa…the native inhabitants were able to free themselves, they were able to overcome this oppression despite the fact that they didn’t, in theory, have the necessary resources to do so… they’re a very good example…Palestine could do the same…

She is dedicated to a justifiable freedom for her people:

I firmly believe that our people are a noble people, that our people are fighting for freedom, and…the suffering that we’re going through needs to become a situation where our people can show their dignity and can overcome and free themselves from the occupation that we’re faced with.

And she reflected on the role and strengths of Palestinian women in their struggle:

Palestinian women have a very important role in the Palestinian struggle.

Women are the core of society. Normally they bring up the children and convey the values to the children. Now if they do so, then if they convey the importance of the Palestinian struggles and they can pass this on to the next generations, maybe this will be the key to helping us to overcome the the occupation.

I’d like to leave you with one clear idea, and that is that the world needs to recognize the Palestinian cause: The Palestinian people are protecting their own right to exist.

Ahed Tamimi’s 10-minute speech can be found in the video below, from 23:15 – 34:42.

Source URL

Americans to Lebanese: Give Up Half Your Right Before Negotiating!

Firas Al-Shoufi

10-02-2018 | 09:19

Once again, Washington wants to convince the Lebanese that it is an “honest mediator” between them and their enemy, which also happens to be the US’s closest ally. It offers them [the Lebanese] negotiations through the US. The ceiling of those negotiations requires the Lebanese to give up half of their maritime rights to waters that the enemy wants to put its hands on.

US Lebanon

US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield’s visit to Beirut and the planned visit by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to the Lebanese capital this month were only part of an integrated scene that began with the visit of Prime Minister Saad Hariri to the White House and his meeting with President Donald Trump last July.

According to ministerial sources monitoring the issue, Hariri made to understand from the Americans that the dossier of the maritime and land border dispute between Lebanon and “Israel” falls under the aegis of the US president’s adviser, son-in-law and businessman Jared Kushner.

It is no coincidence that Trump and the US administration have handed over a dossier of this importance to the president’s son-in-law – the Godfather of the “Deal of the Century” or the deal to terminate the Palestinian cause and replace Al-Quds [Jerusalem] with Abu Dis, while closing the refugee dossier. All this is in preparation for the signing of the Arab-Israeli peace agreement starting from Saudi Arabia and stretching beyond the Gulf.

According to the information, the Americans have since raised with Hariri the issue of the so-called “disputed points” between Lebanon and the occupying entity, on land and sea, and the willingness of the United States to act as a mediator to resolve outstanding issues and “help Lebanon extract oil”.

Hariri returned to Beirut and conveyed what he heard to those concerned, adding that “the relationship with Kushner is positive, and there are serious promises to help Lebanon”. The relationship between the two men has already developed due to efforts of Lebanese mediators in Washington. Without a doubt, Hariri’s detention in Saudi Arabia has brought him closer to the Americans, and he enjoys the cover that the US administration provides, as he is “an important partner for stability in Lebanon.”

However, talk of “American mediation” did not resonate well in Beirut. Based on decades of experience, the concerned Lebanese parties do not see a “fair” mediator in the Americans.

“The American mediations were only in the interest of “Israel” and at the expense of America’s Arab allies.” It is interesting to note, however, that the Americans do not pay much attention to the “disputed points” on land as much as they are concerned with the problem of determining the boundaries of Lebanon’s exclusive economic zone and maritime borders that delineate oil and gas fields.

Satterfield explained this logic during his meetings with Lebanese officials in the past two days, emphasizing “the need not to worry about land points and pay attention to the maritime dispute.” He stressed that his country had officially informed “Israel” that the “border wall” should not be built in the disputed points with Lebanon.

In addition to Satterfield’s thinly veiled threats to the Lebanese of the possibility of “Israel’s” sudden bombardment of Lebanese sites, the American visitor focused on marketing the role of the United States in mediating between Lebanon and “Israel” to resolve the maritime dispute. According to the information, the “Israeli” entity even retreated from the so-called “Hoff Line”, the line that Ambassador Frederick Hoff worked to demarcate the Lebanese-Palestinian border. The “Hoff Line” gives Lebanon back about 550 square kilometers from the 860 square kilometers, separated by the points of dispute between Lebanon and the “Israeli” entity. These points are the so-called Lebanese Point 23 and the “Israeli” Point 1. The Israeli withdrawal from the Hoff Line means that the ceiling of the negotiations will see the Americans offer Lebanon the ability to define the line itself, especially since Satterfield spoke to Lebanese officials about the Hoff line as a “fair solution”. The acceptance by the Lebanese side of the “American offer” ahead of any negotiations, will lead to the loss of about half of the maritime area claimed by the enemy. The negotiation will be on the remaining Lebanese right under the pretext of “expediting the removal of the obstacles that prevent us from benefiting from oil and gas wealth.”

Although Satterfield tried to reassure the Lebanese that the role of the United States would not be at the expense of Lebanon, the impressions he left confirms that he wants to pressure Lebanon to give up this maritime area that the Lebanese are holding on to.

While the Lebanese officials stated a clear position on holding on to every inch of Lebanon’s area – land and sea – there are still differences of opinion regarding American mediation. There were those who emphasize the need to stick to the work of the UN-sponsored tripartite committee between the Lebanese and the enemy’s armies and to confine discussions within the committee. But there are those who advocate accepting and dealing with American mediation since the US role will be a guarantor of Lebanese rights based on Kushner’s promises to Hariri. For its part, ministerial sources said that “Kushner is now sidelined from a lot of dossiers within the US administration, but what is the problem in American mediation? If they presented us with an unconvincing offer, we can simply reject it.”

On the evening of February 8, Satterfield visited the President of the Republic Michele Aoun at Baabda Palace after touring the southern border with the General Director of the Lebanese General Security Major General Abbas Ibrahim and the Commander of the International Emergency Forces in the South of Lebanon [UNIFIL Commander-in-Chief] Michael Perry. They held a meeting at UNIFIL’s headquarters in Naqoura. Satterfield and US Ambassador Elisabeth Richard visited the Armed Forces Commander General Joseph Aoun, who stressed “the Lebanese position that rejects the attempt of this enemy to establish a separation wall that passes through reserved Lebanese territory.” Satterfield and Richard also visited the tomb of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri in central Beirut.

Source: Al-Akhbar, Translated by website team 

لأميركيون للبنانيين: تخلّوا عن نصف حقّكم قبل التــفاوض!

عرّاب «صفقة القرن» يطلّ برأسه على بيروت
ساترفيلد: طلبنا من إسرائيل عدم بناء الجدار في النقاط المتنازع عليها (دالاتي ونهرا)
مرة جديدة، تريد واشنطن إقناع اللبنانيين بأنها «وسيط نزيه» بينهم وبين عدوّهم، حليفها الأوثق. تعرض عليهم التفاوض معه عبرها، وأن يكون سقف التفاوض التخلي عن نصف الحق اللبناني في الحقوق البحرية التي يريد العدو وضع يديه عليها
فراس الشوفي
لم تكن زيارة مساعد وزير الخارجية الأميركي لشؤون الشرق الأوسط ديفيد ساترفيلد إلى بيروت، والزيارة التي من المقرّر أن يقوم بها وزير الخارجية ريكس تيليرسون منتصف الشهر الجاري إلى العاصمة اللبنانية، سوى جزء من مشهد متكامل، بدأ مع زيارة الرئيس سعد الحريري إلى البيت الأبيض ولقائه الرئيس دونالد ترامب في تمّوز الماضي.
فبحسب مصادر وزارية متابعة، سمع الحريري بوضوح من الأميركيين أن ملفّ الصّراع البحري والبري الحدودي بين لبنان وإسرائيل، سيكون في عهدة مستشار الرئيس الأميركي وصهره رجل الأعمال جاريد كوشنير. وليس من قبيل الصّدفة أن يُسلِّم ترامب والإدارة الأميركية ملفّاً بهذه الأهميّة لصهر الرّئيس، وهو عرّاب «صفقة القرن»، أو صفقة إنهاء القضيّة الفلسطينية واستبدال القدس بـ«أبو ديس» وإغلاق ملفّ اللاجئين، تمهيداً لتوقيع اتفاقيات سلام عربية ــــ إسرائيلية، تبدأ من السعودية ولا تنتهي في الخليج.
وبحسب المعلومات، فإن الأميركيين طرحوا مع الحريري منذ ذلك الوقت، مسألة ما يسمّى بـ«النقاط المتنازع عليها» بين لبنان وكيان الاحتلال، في البرّ والبحر، واستعداد الولايات المتّحدة للدخول كوسيط لحلّ الأمور العالقة، و«مساعدة لبنان لاستخراج النفط».
عاد الحريري إلى بيروت ونقل ما سمعه للمعنيين، مع الإضافة أن «العلاقة مع كوشنير إيجابيّة وهناك وعود جديّة بمساعدة لبنان»، وهي علاقة تطوّرت بالفعل بين الرجلين، بجهود وسطاء لبنانيين في واشنطن. وبلا شكّ، ساهم احتجاز الحريري في السعوديّة في تقرّبه أكثر من الأميركيين، وشعوره بالغطاء الذي تؤمّنه له الإدارة الأميركية بوصفه «شريكاً مهمّاً للاستقرار في لبنان».
إلّا أن الحديث عن «وساطة أميركية» لم يلقَ صدىً في بيروت، طالما أن الأطراف اللبنانية المعنيّة لا ترى في الأميركيين وسيطاً «نزيهاً» بناءً على تجربة عمرها عقود طويلة، «حيث لم تصبّ الوساطات الأميركية إلّا في مصلحة إسرائيل، وعلى حساب الدول العربية الحليفة لأميركا». غير أن اللافت أن الأميركيين لا يعيرون اهتماماً كبيراً للنقاط «المتنازع عليها» في البرّ، بقدر ما يهتمون بمشكلة تحديد حدود المنطقة الاقتصادية الخالصة للبنان وبالحدود البحرية التي ترسم حقول النفط والغاز.
هذا المنطق تحدّث به ساترفيلد خلال لقاءاته مع المسؤولين اللبنانيين خلال اليومين الماضيين، لا سيّما لجهة تأكيده «ضرورة عدم القلق من النقاط البريّة والاهتمام بالنزاع البحري»، مشدداً على أن بلاده أبلغت إسرائيل رسمياً بضرورة عدم بناء «الجدار الحدودي» في النقاط المتنازع عليها مع لبنان.
وعدا عن «شبه التهديدات» التي حملها ساترفيلد إلى اللبنانيين من إمكانية قيام إسرائيل بعمليات قصفٍ مفاجئة لمواقع لبنانية، انصبّ اهتمام الزائر الأميركي على تسويق دور الولايات المتّحدة في وساطة بين لبنان وإسرائيل لحلّ النزاع البحري.
 
 وبحسب المعلومات أيضاً، فإن كيان العدوّ، تراجع حتى عمّا يسمّى «خط هوف»، وهو الخطّ الذي عمل عليه السفير فريدريك هوف لترسيم الحدود البحرية اللبنانية ــــ الفلسطينية. و«خطّ هوف» يعيد للبنان حوالي 550 كلم مربعاً من مساحة 860 كلم مربعاً فصلها الاختلاف في النّقاط بين لبنان والكيان الإسرائيلي، بين ما يسمّى بالنقطة 23 اللبنانية والنقطة 1 «الإسرائيلية». التراجع الإسرائيلي عن «خط هوف» يعني أن الأميركيين سيعرضون على لبنان تحديد الخط نفسه كسقف تفاوضي، وخاصة أن ساترفيلد تحدّث أمام مسؤولين لبنانيين عن «خط هوف» بصفته «حلاً منصفاً». وسيؤدي قبول الجانب اللبناني بـ«العرض الأميركي»، وقَبْل بدء أي مفاوضات، إلى خسارة نحو نصف المنطقة البحرية التي يزعم العدو ملكيته لها، والتفاوض على ما تبقى من حق لبناني، بذريعة «الإسراع في إزالة العقبات التي تحول دون استفادتنا من ثروة النفط والغاز».
ومع أن ساترفيلد حاول طمأنة اللبنانيين إلى أن دور الولايات المتّحدة لن يكون على حساب لبنان، إلّا أن الانطباعات التي تركها تؤكّد أنه يريد الضغط على لبنان للتخلّي عن هذه المساحة البحرية التي يتمسّك بها اللبنانيون.
وفيما سجّل المسؤولون اللبنانيون موقفاً واضحاً لناحية التمسّك بكل شبر من مساحة لبنان، البريّة والبحرية، إلّا أن هناك تمايزاً في الآراء إزاء الوساطة الأميركية، بين من يؤكّد على ضرورة التمسّك بعمل اللجنة الثلاثية التي ترعاها الأمم المتّحدة بين الجيش اللبناني وجيش العدوّ وحصر النقاشات ضمن اللجنة، وبين من يسوّق لضرورة القبول بالوساطة الأميركية والتعامل معها، على أساس أن الدور الأميركي سيكون ضمانة للحقوق اللبنانية، بناءً على وعود كوشنير للحريري. من جهتها، قالت مصادر وزارية إن «كوشنير حُيّد عن الكثير من الملفات داخل الإدارة الأميركية الآن، لكن ما المشكلة في وساطة أميركية؟ إذا قدّموا لنا عرضا غير مقنع لا نقبله، بكلّ بساطة».
وقام ساترفيلد مساء أمس بزيارة رئيس الجهمورية ميشال عون في قصر بعبدا، بعد أن جال صباحاً على الحدود الجنوبيّة مع المدير العام للأمن العام اللواء عبّاس إبراهيم وقائد قوات الطوارئ الدولية العاملة في الجنوب مايكل بيري، وعقدوا اجتماعاً في مقرّ القوات الدولية في الناقورة. وزار ساترفيلد في حضور السفيرة اليزابيت ريتشارد قائد الجيش العماد جوزف عون الذي شدّد على «الموقف اللبناني الرافض لمحاولة هذا العدو إنشاء جدار فاصل يمر في أراضٍ متحفظ عليها لبنانياً». كما زار ساترفيلد وريتشارد ضريح الرئيس رفيق الحريري في وسط بيروت.
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Weekly report on israel’s terrorism against Palestinians (01- 07 February 2018)

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

(01- 07 February 2018)

Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

(01 – 07 February 2018)

 

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt
  • Two Palestinian civilians were killed in peaceful protests that did not pose any threat to the Israeli soldiers’ life.
  • Israeli forces killed Ahmed Jarar in a crime of extra-judicial execution.
  • 75 Palestinian civilians, including 17 children, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  • 43 of them were hit with live bullets, 27 were hit with rubber bullets, and 5 were hit with tear gas canisters.
  • Israeli forces conducted 74 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 7 similar ones into Jerusalem.
  • 103 civilians, including 18 children and a woman, were arrested.
  • 20 of them, including 6 children, were arrested in Jerusalem.
  • Two sheds for grazing sheep were demolished during Israeli forces’ military campaigns in Jenin.
  • Israeli warplanes targeted a training site in the southern Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.
  • 15 shooting incidents targeting the Palestinian fishing boats off the Gaza Strip Shore, but no casualties were reported.
  • Israeli authorities continued their settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • An under-construction house was demolished in Nablus and 4 tents were uprooted and confiscated in Tubas.
  • Settlers caused damage to 5 cars and wounded 2 Palestinian civilians.
  • Israeli authorities continued to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • A house was demolished in Silwan village and classrooms in Abu Nawar Bedouin Community.
  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 11th consecutive year.
  • Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.
  • 6 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were arrested at the checkpoints in the West Bank.

 

 

Summary

 

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (01 – 07 February 2018).

 

Shooting:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinians in the West Bank; 2 of them were killed in peaceful protests while the third was killed in a new crime of extra-judicial execution. The Israeli forces also wounded 75 Palestinian civilians, including 17 children, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  Forty three of them were hit with live bullets, 27 were hit with rubber bullets and 5 were hit with tear gas canisters  In the Gaza Strip as well, the Israeli forces continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, target border areas and carry out airstrikes against military sites belonging to the Palestinian Armed Groups.

 

In the West Bank, in a peaceful protest that did not pose any threat to the soldiers’ life, on Saturday, 03 February 2018, Israeli forces killed an 18-year-old Palestinian civilian and wounded 7 others, including 4 children. This happened when Israeli forces moved into Burqin village, west of Jenin, as part of their on-going military operation, which started on 18 January 2018, to search for Ahmed Naser Jarar (22). Ahmed is accused of killing an Israeli Rabbi on 09 January 2018 near “Hafat Gilead” settlement, southwest of Nablus.  During the aforementioned operation, the Israeli forces demolished 2 sheds built of tin plates and bricks on an area of 260 square meters and used for grazing sheep.  Those 2 sheds belonged to Mustafa and Hasan ‘Atiq.

 

On Tuesday, 06 February 2018, in a peaceful protest that did not pose any threat to the soldiers’ life, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in Nablus and wounded 19 others, including 5 children.  Ten of them were hit with live bullets, 8 civilians were hit with rubber bullets, and one civilian was hit with a tear gas canister to the face. Doctors in the city hospitals classified the injuries of 4 civilians as serious. This crime was committed when the SIraeli forces moved into the city and surrounded houses belonging to ‘Asif Family ro arrest ‘Abdel Karim ‘Aasi (19) who is accused of killing Rabbi Itmar Bin Gal near “Arayel”  settlement, north of Salfit, on 05 February 2018.  Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian youngsters and children gathered to throw stones and empty bottles at the soldiers.  The clashes continued until the early dawn.

 

In a new crime of extra-judicial execution, on Tuesday early morning, 06 February 2018, Israeli forces killed Ahmed Jarar after surrounding an abandoned building where he was fortified in al-Yamoun village, west of Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank. PCHR’s investigations and official statements by Israeli leaders and security services indicate presence of the elements of extra-judicial execution crime. Israeli forces accused Ahmed of killing Rabbi Raziel Shevah near “Havat Gilad” settlement outpost, west of Nablus on 09 January 2018, was killed.  Since 18 January 2018, Jenin, its refugee camp and villages were exposed to Israeli wide-scale military campaigns to search for Ahmed Jarar.

 

On 02 February 2018, two Palestinian civilians were hit with live bullets when Israeli forces moved into al-Murihah village, west of Ya’bud, southwest of Jenin, to disperse a disputd between two Palestinian young men.  Thus, the soldiers randomly opened fire at those present in the scene.

 

On 05 February 2018, a Palestinian child was hit with a bullet to the thigh when Israeli forces moved into Burqin village, west of Jenin, and a number of Palestinian children and youngsters gathered to throw stones and empty bottles at the soldiers.

 

On 06 February 2018, a 22-year-old Palestinian was hit with a rubber bullet to the right leg when the Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah amidst Israeli random firing of rubber- bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters.

 

During the reporting period, the West Bank witnessed protests against the U.S. President’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. During the protests, the Israeli forces used force against the protesters, and the shooting to disperse the protests resulted in the injury of 30 civilians, including 7 children.  Twenty were hit with live bullets, 8 were hit with rubber bullets and one was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the body.

 

In the Gaza Strip, the border areas with Israel witnessed protests against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy to it.  During the protests, the Israeli forces used force against the protestors.  Due to opening fire to disperse the protests, 15 Palestinian civilians were wounded, including 3 children.  Thirteen civilians were hit with live bullets, one directly with a tear gas canister and one with a rubber-coated metal bullet.

 

As part of targeting fishermen in the sea, PCHR monitored that the Israeli forces escalated their attacks against fishermen in the Gaza Sea, indicating to the ongoing Israeli policy of targeting their livelihoods.  During the reporting period, Israeli gunboats chased Palestinian fishing boats and opened fire at them in 15 shooting incidents, including 10 in Western Soudaniyah Area, west of Jabalia, 4 shooting incidents northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, and one incident off Deir al-Balah Shore in the central Gaza Strip.

 

As part of airstrikes, on 02 February 2018, Israeli warplanes launched 4 missiles at a training site belonging to al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas Movement, northwest of Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip.  As a result, the site sustained lot of damage, but no casualties were reported.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 74 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank while they conducted 7 incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 74 Palestinians, including 12 children and a woman, in the West Bank.  Twenty of them, including 6 children, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs. Those incursions happened in light of the cold weather as the Israeli soldiers forced children, women and elderly people to stay outside their houses for hours or locked families in one room preventing them to move in addition to other acts of harassment and use of police dogs in house raids.  During the reporting period, PCHR’s fieldworkers documented that Israeli forces raided a house in al-Kafir village, southeast of Jenin, and a police dog attacked a civilian and his wife.

 

Efforts to Create A Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem:

 

  • As part of demolitions in favour of the settlement projects, On 04 February 2018, Israeli bulldozers demolished a building consists of 2 rooms used as a primary school by Abu Nawar Bedouin Community residents near “Ma’aleh Adumim” settlement established in al-‘Izariyia village lands, east of the city. It should be noted that around 27 students were studying in the demolished school. it should be noted that Abu Nawar Community is located in area classified A1, which is in the envy of Israeli forces to seize considering it a strategic area that connects the northern and southern West Bank and that’s why it is Geopolitically vital.

On 07 February 2018, Israeli bulldozers demolioshed a house belonging to the family of ‘Ali Mahmoud Hmeidat in ‘Ein al-Lawzeh neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing.  The house was built in 2006 on an area of 140 square meters and comprised of 3 rooms, living room, kitchen and bathrooms.  The abovementioned civilian, his wife and 6 children lived in the house.

 

Settlement Activities, Demolitions, and Settlers’ Attacks against Palestinian civilians and their Property:

 

As part of house demolitions, on 01 February 2018, Israeli forces demolished in al-Hemarah Area, east of Beit Dajen village, east of Nablus, an under-construction house comprised of one floor and built on an area of 100 square meters under the pretext of non-licensing. The house belongs to Diyab Hussain ‘Ali Rajeh, from Balatah Camp, east of Nablus.

 

On 05 February 2018, Israeli forces leveled and confiscated a 500–meter water pipeline, which feeds 100 dunums planted with watermelon in ‘Ain al-Sakout area in the Northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas.  On the same day, Israeli forces uprooted and confiscated 4 tents for grazing sheep and 20 fodders in the Kherbet Um al-Jamal area near the abovementioned area.

 

As part of siraeli settlers’ attacks against Palestintina civilians and their property, on 01 February 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar” Settlement established in the northern side of ‘Oreef village lands, south of Nablus, placed rocks on a road connecting between ‘Oreef and ‘Asirah al-Qabaliyia villages. The Israeli settlers also set ambushes for Palestinians between olive trees to throw stones at their vehicles.  As a result, ‘Abdel Rahman Shahada’s car sustained damage.

 

On 03 February 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Beit Ayin” settlement established on Palestinian civilians lands, northwest of Beit Ummer, north of Hebron, attacked a number of farmers with stones in their lands in Khelit al-Kutlah area and insulted them.  They also attacked shepherds in the vicinity of Qawawis village, east of Yata, south of Hebron, with stones.  As a result, the farmers and shepherds were forced to leave both areas.

 

On 05 February 2018, following the killing of an Israeli settler near “Arail” settlement in Salfit, dozens of Israeli settlers gathered along Hawarah-Za’tarah Streets and “Yitzhar” bypass road, south of Nablus. The Israeli settlers carried out riots in the area and threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ vehicles. As a result, the windshield of a car belonging to Khaled Khandaqji (55), who was driving back from Nablus, sustained damage.

 

On the same day, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ vehicles. As a result, a stone hit a vehicle carrying 3 Palestinian civilians from Balatah Camp, east of Nablus. One of the passengers was hit with a stone to the head and then taken via an Israeli ambulance to Benslon Hospital in Israel.

 

On 06 February 2018, a group of Israeli settlers gathered in the vicinity of Hawarah checkpoint, south of Nablus. They also threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ vehicles. As a result, a car’s windshield belonging to Bassam Mahmoud ‘As’ous was broken.

.

 

Details

 

  1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas, and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

 

Thursday, 01 February 2018

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested 7 civilians namely Emad Mustafa Ahmed al-Riahan (27), Ahmed Yusuf Ibrahim Ramadan (20), Hehad Ibrahim Ahmed Eshtiah (25), Hamed Ibrahim ‘Awad Ramadan (24), Ahmed Ibrahim ‘Othman Ramadan (26), Qasem Yusuf Ibrahim Ramadan (26), and Jihad Hassan al-Hendi (27).

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jamal Abdul Salam Abu al-Haija and then arrested his son Emad (25) and his friend Osama Wasfi Qabha (22), who was visiting Emad along with his mother.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Qabatiyah village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested 4 civilians namely Mohammed Taha Zakarneh (23), Wa’el Omer al-Sahow (22), Mo’atasem Hasan Abu Ja’far (24) and Rabi’e Husam Zakarneh (23).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Anas Sa’ed Ahmed Darwish (17) and Mo’ath Sa’ed Shalash (18).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Mohammed ‘Adel Shabitah (24) and Mohammed Faisal Mohammed Saleem (26).

 

  • At approximately 05:00, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah Shore in the northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles and chased them. The Israeli forces recurred the shooting at approximately 07:30 on the same day and pumped seawater towards the fishing boats. This continued until approximately 09:30, forcing the fishermen to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage to the boats was reported.

 

  • At approximately 10:30, Israeli gunboats stationed off Deir al-Balah shore in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Dura, Ethna, al-Thaheriyah and al-Mawreq villages in Hebron.

 

Friday, 02 February 2018

 

  • At approximately 06:50, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah Shore in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

  • At approximately 14:00, following a quarrel between two Palestinian young men in the centre of al-Mariha village, west of Ya’bud village, southwest of Jenin, Israeli forces moved into the village to blatantly end the quarrel. The soldier randomly opened fire in the area. As a result, 2 civilians were wounded and taken to Dr. Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin to receive medical treatment. Doctors classified their injuries as moderate. The wounded civilians were identified as:
  1. Majed Khalid Hamdouni (26), was hit with a live bullet to the left thigh, causing him bone laceration; and
  2. Nader Ahmed Fares Hamdouni (36), was hit with a live bullet to the right thigh.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Beit Ummer, Sa’ir, and Bani Na’im villages in Hebron.

 

Saturday 03 February 2018:

 

  • At approximately 12:20, Israeli warplanes launched 4 missiles at a military training site belonging to al-Qassam Brigades, the Military Armed Wing of Hamas Movement, northwest of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. The airstrike caused severe damage to the site, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 04:00, Israeli forces moved into Burqin village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested 4 civilians, including 3 brothers, namely Mabrouk (39), Mubarak (48), and Mustafa ‘Antar Jarrar (30), and Ibrhim Ahmed ‘Obaidi (35).

 

  • At approximately 04:30, Israeli forces accompanied with police dogs and a bulldozer moved into al-Kafir village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses after breaking the outside doors and topping the roofs. They then surrounded a house belonging to Walid Theeb al-Rashid and ordered the family members to get out of the house and turn themselves in. After getting out of the house, the Israeli soldiers locked the family members in the first floor of a house belonging to Noor Eden Rawhi Rashed ‘Awad, who rents the house from Khalid Ersheid. The soldiers then fired shells from shoulder-launched weapons at a cave and blew it up. They then fired several shells at doors of old houses’ stores near the abovementioned house and blew them up. The Israeli forces then called out via loudspeakers for Ahmed Nasser Jarrar to come out and turn himself in. The operation continued until approximately 09:30, on the same day. The Israeli forces also arrested Theeb (50) and Qa’aqa’a Walid Theeb Rashed (48). Noor Eden Rawhi Rashed ‘Awad (47) said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“I woke up when a dog was biting my right hand while another dog was biting the left hand and leg of my wife Samaher Fayeq Salim Abu al-Wafa (3, who started to bleed, so I asked the soldiers to offer her first aid, but they refused. I called my wife’s brother Eyad Abu al-Wafa, who was living in ‘Aqaba village nearby. Eyad then called the PRCS in Tubas and they then sent an ambulance. However, the Israeli forces denied the ambulance access to the area to offer us first aid. I begged the soldiers several times to offer my wife first aid. At approximately 07:30, the soldiers offered my wife first aid. At approximately 09:30, we were transferred to Tubas Turkish Hospital in Tubas where we received the needed medical treatment.”

 

  • At approximately 06:55, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Wahah Shore in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

  • At approximately 10:15, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Wahah Shore in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

  • In a new crime of excessive use of lethal force, on Saturday, 03 February 2018, Israeli forces killed an 18-year-old Palestinian civilian and wounded 7 others, including 4 children. This happened when Israeli forces moved into Burqin village, west of Jenin, as part of their ongoing military operation, which started on 18 January 2018, to search for Ahmed Naser Jarar (22). Ahmed is accused of killing an Israeli Rabbi on 09 January 2018 near “Hafat Gilead” settlement, southwest of Nablus.

According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and eyewitnesses’ accounts, at approximately 14:25 on Saturday, 03 February 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles and 2 bulldozers and backed by a drone moved into the Eastern neighborhood in Burqin village, west of Jenin. The Israeli forces surrounded many houses belonging to ‘Ateeq family and Jarrar family archeological palace in order to arrest Ahmed Naser Jarrar, who was accused of killing an Israeli Rabbi on 09 January 2018 near “Hafat Gilead” settlement, southwest of Nablus. The Israeli forces topped civilians’ houses roofs and heavily fired sound bombs and explosives. They shouted via loudspeakers: “Ahmed, Surrender yourself or we will demolish each house in the neighborhood.” Meanwhile, two Israeli bulldozers started demolishing two 260-square-meter sheds built of tin plates and bricks and used for breeding livestock. The two sheds belong to Mostafa Abed al-Rahman ‘Ateeq and his brother Hasan. During the operation, dozens of Palestinian youngsters and children gathered in the neighborhood and in al-Hadaf area adjacent to the southeastern side of Burqin village to throw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers, who immediately opened fire at them. As a result, 8 civilians, including 4 children, were wounded. Among them was Ahmed Sameer Mahmoud ‘Obaid (18), who was hit with a bullet to the head. Ahmed was then taken to al-Razi Hospital, where he was admitted to the Operation Room (OR). However, Doctors failed to save his life and pronounced his death at approximately 22:10 on the same day. Doctors at the hospital added that the bullet lodged in Ahmed’s brain. Before the Israeli forces withdrew, they arrested the brothers ‘Afif (35) and Majdi Mustafa Abdul Rahman ‘Atiq (28).

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Halhoul and Yatta in Hebron; and Howarah village, south of Nablus.

 

Sunday, 04 February 2018:

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Bethlehem and stationed on al-Saf Street in the center of the city. They raided and searched a house belonging to Baha’a Eden Mohammed ‘Ezzat (20) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Nahalin village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed No’man Yaseen (19) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp and stationed near Abu Sham’ah Shops for Mineral Oil. They raided and searched a house belonging to Salah ‘Ali al-Titi (50). The soldiers later withdrew from the house and no arrests were reported. Meanwhile, another Israeli force raided and searched a house belonging to Samed Mohammed Jawabrah (18) and then handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of Bethlehem.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Ali ‘Essa Taqatqa (15) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 04:30, Israeli forces moved into Burqin Valley village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses belonging to Jarrar family and then arrested Saleh Jarir Jarrar (22).

 

  • At approximately 07:25, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Wahah Shore in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

  • At approximately 16:30, Israeli forces moved into Ya’bud village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Shu’a’a Walid Abu Baker (20) in the western neighbourhood of the village. They then arrested him and confiscated a motor bicycle.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: al-Shoyoukh, Surif villages and Ras al-Jourah area in Hebron; Marada village, north of Salfit.

 

Monday, 05 February 2018

 

  • At approximately 00:30, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Abdul Karim Yasin (22) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 3 children namely Amir Murad Taqatqa (14), ‘Amer Khalid Taqatqa (15) and ‘Ali Hamzah Deriyah (15).

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Surif village, west of Hebron and stationed in al-Matinah area. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ibrahim ‘Ali Ghuneimat. They locked the family members in one room and then arrested Ibrahim’s sons Muneeb (19) and Fadi (21).

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Kafer Ra’ie village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jamal Mohammed Muneeb “Sheikh Ibrahim” (30) near Abu Dhar al-Ghifari Mosque in the center of the city and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Nader ‘Ali ‘Ouweisat (18) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Hawouz area. They raided and searched a house belonging to Saif Mahmoud Abu Zenah (22) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Ramallah and stationed in al-Tirah neighborhood. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed Majdi al-‘Arabid (28), a newscaster at al-Hurriyah Radio Station. The soldiers locked the family members in one room and confiscated their cell phones. Suddenly, a soldier heavily beat Ahmed’s brother Sami al-‘Arabid and handcuffed him. The soldiers then thoroughly searched the house for half an hour and then arrested Ahmed before they withdrew from the house.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Betunia village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jamil Khalid Dars (26) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 04:30, Israeli forces moved into Bil’in village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Yasin Shahran Yasin (22) and Mohammed Eyad Barnat (19).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah and stationed in the center of the village. They raided and searched a house belonging to Sharhabil ‘Awad al-Khatib (25) and then arrested him

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Medhat Hasan Abu Sharifah (21) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 06:00, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah Shore in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 5 nautical miles and chased them. The shooting recurred at approximately 08:45 on the same day. The attack continued until approximately 09:30. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

  • At approximately 11:45, a group of Israeli undercover agents “Mosta’rebeen” dressed like Palestinian civilians sneaked into Jaffa Street, west of Jenin, traveling in a civilian car witha Palestinian registration plate. The settlers stopped a taxi and forced the driver ‘Ammar Yahiya al-Shalaby (43), from Barqin village, west of the city, to step out at gunpoint. They then forced him to get in their car and took him to Salem military camp, west of the city.

 

  • At approximately 18:00, a group of Israeli undercover agents “Mosta’rebeen” dressed like Palestinian civilians sneaked into Mawal Park on al-Naserah Street, north of Jenin, in a civilian mini bus with a Palestinian registration plate. The bus stopped in front of the park and a number of Israeli soldiers stepped out of it and raided the park. They then arrested Naji ‘Aahed Jarrar (40) and left the area. Half an hour later, Naji’s brother Fou’ad (48) arrived at the park to see what was going on. The park administration was surprised when the same bus came back to arrest Fou’ad. Following that, several military vehicles moved into the area and covered the withdrawal of the special units from the area after arresting the abovementioned brothers.

 

  • At approximately 19:00, Israeli forces moved into Burqin village, west of Jenin. They surrounded Jothour building in the eastern neighborhood of the village, in order to arrest Ahmed Nasser Jarrar. The soldiers topped roofs of several houses in the neighborhood. After that, dozens of Palestinian youngsters gathered in the area and threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers, who opened fire at them. As a result, a 17-year-old child sustained a live bullet wound to the thigh. He was taken to Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin to receive medical treatment. Doctors classified his injury as moderate.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Emrish village and Khelat al-Mayyah area in Hebron; Qafin village, Noor Shams refugee camp in Tulkarm.

 

Tuesday, 06 February 2018

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Maghir village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 3 civilians, including a child, namely ‘Amer ‘Aasi Abu ‘Alia (18), Baha’a Osamah Abu ‘Alia (19), and Mohammed Nidal Abu ‘Alia (17).

 

  • At approximately 01:20, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah amidst firing metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 3 civilians, including a child, namely Khalid FA’eq Hassan (21), Mohammed Jamil Qar’an (21), and Abdul Fattah Nezar Hejazi (15). Moreover, a civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the right leg.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Kafer Qalil village, east of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Odai Nasser al-Qani (18) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:45, Israeli forces moved into Deir Estia village, northwest of Salfit. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 4 civilians, including 2 children, namely Ahmed Husni Hasan Mansour (17), Yusuf ‘Othman Thiab (17), Mohammed Radi Mufeed Sheikh Abdullah (21) and Montaser Mohammed al-Qaisi (25).

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Furik village, east of Nablus. They raided and searched a houses belonging to Saddam Mahmoud Hanani (24) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Noor Eden Wadah Hanani (20) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Selah al-Harethiyah village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Mo’en Yahiya Mousa Tahayneh (24), Ibrahim Mousa Khalil Tahayneh (37) and Mahmoud Mousa Abu Shaqrah (54).

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Tulkarm. They raided and searched an apartment located behind al-Quds Open University buildings. The Israeli forces then arrested Soheib Salem Ahmed Abu Sa’adah (21) and Khaldi Mustafa Kamal Khadanqaji (25), both from ‘Alar village.

 

  • At approximately 08:30, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds, east of Gaza Valley (Juhor al-Deek) near the eastern borders of the village. As a result, the shepherds were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 09:50, Israeli gunboat stationed off al-Sudaniyah Shore in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 5 nautical miles. The Israeli gunboat also chased the fishing boats and pumped seawater towards them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

  • At approximately 13:00, Israeli gunboat stationed off al-Sudaniyah shore in the northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 5 nautical miles, fired 5 shells in their vicinity and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

  • In Excessive use of lethal force, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in Nablus and wounded 19 others, including 5 children. Doctors in the city hospitals, where the wounded persons were referred, classified the injuries of 4 of them as serious.

According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ accounts, at approximately 19:30 on Tuesday, 06 February 2018, Israeli forces moved into Nablus and stationed on “Baker” Street, and Khelat al-Eman in the Northern Mountain. They surrounded several houses belonging to al-‘Aasi Family to arrest Abdul Karim ‘Adel ‘Aasi (19), who is accused of killing the Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal near “Ariel” settlement, north of Salfit, on 05 February 2018. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian children and youngsters gathered to throw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli forces. Clashes continued until the early dawn. As a result, Khalid Walid Jamil Tayeh (22) was killed after being hit with a live bullet to the chest. He was transferred to An-Najah National University Hospital near the scene and then admitted to the Operation Room (OR). However, Doctors failed to save him and pronounced his death while he was under surgery. Moreover, and due to the clashes, 19 other civilians, including 5 children, were wounded. Ten of them were hit with live bullets, 8 civilians were hit with rubber bullets, and one civilian was hit with a tear gas canister to the face. Doctors in the city hospitals classified the injuries of 4 civilians as serious. Before withdrawing from the city, the Israeli forces arrested 7 civilians namely Abdul Rahman Sbaih al-Tubasi, Nayef Mahmoud al-Tubasi, Eyad Mohammed al-Tubasi, Bara’a Samir al-Tubasi, Yusuf Shalhoub, Hani Khalfah, and Karim Abu Salheh.

 

  • At approximately 19:40, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah shore in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 5 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forces to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Dura, al-Thaheriyah village, and al-Fawar refugee camp in Hebron.

 

Wednesday, 07 February 2018:

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested 3 civilians namely Soheib Ayman Hamed (20), Abdul Hamid Moneer Hamad (22) and Qusai Mahmoud Hamed (22).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ehsan Khalid Taqatqa (32) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Ya’bud village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Saher Mohammed Rashid Abu Baker (18) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:45, Israeli forces moved into al-Laban al-Shawrqiyah village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 4 civilians namely Abdullah Ghassan Hasan Daraghmeh (22), his brother Ahmed (25), Mohanned Ghaleb Abdul Rahman ‘Ouwais (33) and Mohammed Khader Ismail ‘Ouwais (22).

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Bethlehem and stationed on al-Saf Street in the center of the city. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Tha’er Khader Masalmeh (29) and Nidal Ibrahim Abu ‘Aahour (42).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Shuweikah Suburb, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Abdul Qader Saleh A’mar (45) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Jalboun village, northeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Ali Mohammed Abu al-Rab (29) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Eyad Redwan al-Titi (24) and then confiscated a laptop, but no arrests were reported.

 

  • At approximately 02:45, Israeli forces moved into Kufor Thuluth village, east of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Oudah Jihad Yusuf ‘Oudah (30) and then arrested him. It should be noted that ‘Oudah is an officer at the Palestinian National Security Forces. The Israeli forces also arrested Noha Abdullah Shawahneh (52) after her husband, her son Abdul Karim Shawahneh and she were summoned to refer to the Israeli police station in “Ariel” settlement. At the end of investigation in late hour, Noha’s husband and son were released while she was kept under arrest. Noha’s trial will be on 08 February 2018, in Salem military camp, west of Jenin. It should be noted that the abovementioned civilian is the mother of prisoners Sharhabil and ‘Orwah Taher Shawahneh in the Israeli jails.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Ezzah refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed Fou’ad al-Barbari (37) and then arrested him. The soldiers also beat his family members causing those wounds and bruises. The family members were transferred to Beit Jala Hospital to receive medical treatment. The wounded civilians were identified as Manal ‘Essa al-Barbari (34), Akram Rezeq al-Barbari (41), Nidal Fou’ad al-Barbari (24) and ‘Essa Mahmoud al-Barbari (59).

 

  • At approximately 04:10, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah shore in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 5 nautical miles and chased them. The shooting recurred at approximately 06:20 on the same day and continued until approximately 08:35. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

  • At approximately 19:00, Israeli forces moved into Khelet Nufal in Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a supermarket in the abovementioned site and then arrested 3 children. The arrestees were identified as Abdul Rahman Montaser ‘Amer (12), M’oath Kefah Abdul Hadi (11), and Yusuf Jamal ‘Amer (10).

 

  • At approximately 19:40, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Wahah Shore in the northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: al-‘Aroub refugee camp and Beit ‘Awa village in Hebron; and Deir Sharaf village, northwest of Nablus.

 

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

 

Upon calls for demonstrations protesting against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s Presidential Decree to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy to it, Palestinian civilians organized protests against the decision throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As a result, 21 civilians, including 9 children, were wounded. (This number does not include the number of those wounded during the incursions into the West Bank.) It should be mentioned that PCHR keeps the names of wounded persons for fear of arresting them. The demonstrations were as follows:

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 12:00 on Friday, 02 February 2018, dozens of Palestinian children and young men gathered at the northern entrance to al-Birah city. They threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers stationed at “al-Mahkamah” checkpoint established near “Beit Eil” settlement, north of the city. The soldiers fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullet, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 6 civilians, including 3 children, were hit with rubber bullets to their lower limbs.

 

  • Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and International and Israeli human rights defenders organized protests in in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages, west of Ramallah; al-Nabi Saleh and the al-Mazra’ah al-Gharbiyah villages, northwest of Ramallah, against the annexation wall and settlement activities . Israeli forces used force to disperse the protestors firing live and metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. They also chased the protestors into olive fields and between the houses. As a result, 3 civilians were wounded. One of them was hit with a tear gas canister to the head, and the second was hit with a live bullet to the right hand that penetrated his waste and was transferred to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to receive medical treatment. Doctors classified his injury as moderate. Moreover, the third civilian was hit a tear gas canister to the chest.

 

  • Following the same Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians protested in the vicinity of Howarah checkpoint at the southern entrance to Nablus. They set fire to tires, put barricades on the street leading to the checkpoint, and threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers. The soldiers fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 5 civilians, including 3 children, were hit with rubber bullets. They were transferred to Rafidiya Governmental hospital in Nablus to receive medical treatment. Doctors classified their injuries as moderate.

 

  • Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian civilians protested at the main entrance to Beta village, branching from Nablus- Ramallah Street, south of Nablus. They threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed at the village entrance. The soldiers fired live and metal bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a 25-year-old civilian sustained a live bullet wound to the right leg. The Israeli forces then arrested ‘Ala’a Zedan Duweikat (20).

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on the same Friday, a group of Palestinian civilians protested near the northern entrance to Qalqiliyah. They threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed at the abovementioned entrance. The soldiers fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a 20-year-old civilian from Qalqiliyah was hit with a tear gas canister to the right foot.

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 02 February 2018, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered near the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of Khuza’ah and ‘Abasan al-Kabirah and al-Jadidah villages and al-Sarij area, east of al-Qararah, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, in protest against the U.S President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The clashes continued in the area for hours during which the Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence and sporadically fired live bullets and tear gas canisters. As a result, a 16-year-old civilian sustained a live bullet wound to the lower pelvis. He was transferred to Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis to receive medical treatment. Doctors classified his injury as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 13:30 on the same Friday, dozens of Palestinian youngsters made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel in the northern Gaza Strip. The youngsters approached the security fence and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence. The soldiers stationed in military watchtowers and in their vicinity at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing, northwest of Beit Hanoun village, north of Buret Abu Samrah, north of the abovementioned village, and stationed in the east of the Islamic Cemetery, east of Jabalia, fired live bullets, rubber- coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 9 civilians, including a child, were wounded. Eight of them were hit with live bullets and one civilian was hit with a rubber bullet to the right eye. The wounded civilians were transferred by ambulances belonging to PRCS to the Indonesian Hospital to receive medical treatment. Doctors there classified their injuries as moderate.

 

  • Around the same day, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered in the vicinity of al-Sheja’eya neighborhood intersection, east of Gaza city and then headed to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel (near former Nahel Oz). The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullet and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 5 civilians, including a child, were wounded. Four of them were hit with live bullets and one civilian was hit with a tear gas canister. They were transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City to receive medical treatment.

 

Extra-judicial Execution:

 

  • In new crime of extra-judicial execution, on Tuesday early morning, 06 February 2018, Israeli forces killed Ahmed Jarar after surrounding an abandoned building where he was fortified in al-Yamoun village, west of Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank.

According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 04:00 on Tuesday, 06 February 2018, large force of Israeli soldiers accompanied with a bulldozer and backed by a drone and helicopter, moved into al-Yamoun village, west of Jenin.  They stationed in the northwestern side of the village and surrounded an abandoned 4-storey building belonging to a person living abroad and formerly used as an office for the Palestinian National Security Forces.  Following that, explosions and heavy shooting were heard in the area.  At approximately 05:00, the bulldozer started demolishing a 20-square-meter warehouse belonging to the same building.  At approximately 07:00, the Israeli media started spreading news that Ahmed Naser Khaled Jarar (22), who was accused by Israeli forces of killing Rabbi Raziel Shevah near “Havat Gilad” settlement outpost, west of Nablus on 09 January 2018, was killed.  Since 18 January 2018, Jenin, its refugee camp and villages were exposed to Israeli wide-scale military campaigns to search for Ahmed Jarar.  On the same 18 January, Israeli forces killed his cousin Ahmed Isma’il Jarar (31) and on 03 February 2018 killed Ahmed Samir ‘Obeid (18).

PCHR’s investigations and official statements by Israeli leaders and security services indicate presence of the elements of extra-judicial execution crime.  After the operation ended, Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli Minister of Defense, tweeted: “The score has been settled.” He added he congratulates Netanyahu and the Israeli forces for assassinating Ahmed Jarar and hopes they will soon get to the murderer of Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal as well, who was killed in Salfit attack yesterday. Shin Bet Security Service issued a statement: “following complex intelligence and operational efforts which started after the killing of Rabbi Raziel Shevah, and today dawn during a joint operation between the Shin Bet, Israeli forces, and the Yamam counter-terrorism unit of the Israeli Border Police, Ahmed Naser Jarar from Jenin was assassinated.” the Shin Bet added, ” while attempting to arrest him, the wanted came out of the building, where he was fortified in al-Yamoun village, armed with an M-16 and a bag full of explosives.”  The statement has not mentioned that Jarar opened fire at the Israeli forces, indicating that the operation aimed to kill Jarar and not to arrest him.

 

 

  1. Continued closure of the oPt

 

Israel continued to impose a tight closure on the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

Gaza Strip

 

Israeli forces continuously tighten the closure of the Gaza Strip and close all commercial crossings, making the Karm Abu Salem crossing the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip, although it is not suitable for commercial purposes in terms of its operational capacity and distance from markets.

Israeli forces have continued to apply the policy, which is aimed to tighten the closure on all commercial crossings, by imposing total control over the flow of imports and exports.

 

Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

 

Israeli forces also continued to impose an almost total ban on the Gaza Strip exports, including agricultural and industrial products, except for light-weighted products such as flowers, strawberries, and spices. However, they lately allowed the exportation of some vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes, furniture and fish.

 

Israel has continued to close the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the majority of Palestinian citizens from the Gaza Strip. Israel only allows the movement of a limited number of groups, with many hours of waiting in the majority of cases. Israel has continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via the Beit Hanoun crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel also continued applying the policy of making certain civilian traveling via the crossing interviewed by the Israeli intelligence service to be questioned, blackmailed or arrested.

 

Movement at Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing

(31 January- 06 February 2018)

Category 31 January 01 February 02 February 03 February 04 February  05 February 06 February
Patients 30 15 1 79 38 52
Companions 25 19 1 66 37 46
Personal needs 32 40 9 38 25 43
Familiesof prisoners 43
Arabs fromIsrael 16 6 8 13 9 9
Diplomats
International journalists 12 1
International workers 30 52 5 12 17 28
TravelersAbroad 1 113
Business people 76 64 2 79 79 64
Business meetings
Security interviews 1 4 8 6 7
VIPs 1 1 1
Ambulances to Israel 1 5 1 6 9 5
Patients’ Companions 6 1 5 8 4

 

Note:

  • On Tuesday, 06 February 2018, Israeli forces allowed one person, who works at the General Authority of Civil Affairs (GACA) and internationals to renew their permits.
  • On Wednesday, 31 January 2018, Israeli forces allowed 3 persons; on Thursday, 01 February 2018, 4 persons; on Sunday, 04 February 2018, 9 persons; and on Tuesday, 06 February 2018, 8 persons to return to the West Bank.
  • On Thursday, 01 February 2018, Israeli forces allowed 48 farmers; and on Friday, 02 February 2018, one person to attend an agricultural course.
  • On Monday, 05 February 2018, Israeli forces allowed one person to give his testimony before the Israeli Courts.

Israel has imposed a tightened closure on the West Bank. During the reporting period, Israeli forces imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians:

 

  • Ramallah: Israeli forces established (3) checkpoints all over the city.

On Saturday, 03 February 2018, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrance ti al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, and at the entrances to ‘Ain Yabroud and Kafur Malek villages, northeast of the city.

 

  • Hebron: Israeli forces established (19) checkpoints all over the city.

On Thursday 01 February 2018, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp and at the entrance to Beit ‘Awaa village.

On Friday, 02 February 2018, 2 similar checkpoints were established at the entrance to al-Fawar refugee camp and at the entrance to al-Shayyoukh village.

On Saturday, 03 February 2018, Israeli forces established 5 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Fawar refugee camp; at the entrances to Sa’ir and Taramah villages; on al-Masafer Road, east of Yatta; and on Wad Abu Risha Road, west of Ethna village.

On Sunday, 04 February 2018, 2 similar checkpoints were established at the entrances to Beit ‘Awaa and Ethna villages.

On Monday, 05 February 2018, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron ( al-Fahs) and at the entrance to Bani Na’iem village (Wad al-Jouz).

On Tuesday, 06 February 2018, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Hebron (Frsh al-Hawa), at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, and at the entrance to Sa’ir village.

On Wednesday, 3 similar checkpoints were established on Khelit al-Mai Road, east of Yatta; at the entrance to Beit Ummer village; and at the eastern entrance to Dura village.

 

  • Qalqiliyia: Israeli forces established (8) checkpoints all over the city.

 

On Saturday, 03 February 2018, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Hejah, ‘Azoun, and ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb villages, east of Qalqiliyia.

On Sunday, 04 February 2018, Israeli forces established 4 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Qalqilyia (was established 2 times); at the entrance to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village, east of the city; and at the entrance to Jayyous village, northeast of the city.

On Monday, 05 February 2018, Israeli forces established 4 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Qalqiliyia, at the entrance to ‘Azoun village (was established 2 times), and at the entrance to Kafur LAquf village, east of the city.

On Tuesday, 06 February 2018, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Qalqilyia and at the entrance to Kafur Thulth village, east of the city.

At approximately 19:00 on Wednesday, 07 February 2018, Israeli forces established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to ‘Azoun, Sair, Jayyous, and ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb villages; and at the eastern entrance to Qalqilyia.

 

  • Salfit: Israeli forces established (7) checkpoints all over the city.

 

At approximately 18:30 on Sunday, 04 February 2018, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at entrance to Dersityia village, northwest of Salfit.

At approximately 18:50, a similar checkpoint was established at the northern entrance to Burqeen village, west of the city.

At approximately 12:50 on Monday, 05 February 2018, Israeli forces closed the southern entrance to Kaful Hares village, north of Salfit; the western entrance to Hares village, northwest of the city; and the northern entrance to Kafur al-Deek village, west of the city. They also established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Dersityia village, northwest of the city.

At approximately 20:55 on Tuesday, 06 February 2018,Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Dir Balout, Burqeen, and Kafur al-Deek villages, west of Salfit.

At approximately 16:00 on Wednesday, 07 February 2018, a similar checkpoint was established at “Arail” settlement square.

 

  • Tulkarm: Israeli forces established (4) checkpoints all over the city.

 

At approximately 12:30 on Saturday, 03 February 2018, Israeli forces stationed at ‘Inab military checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, tightened its arbitrary measures against Palestinian civilians. They searched the Palestinian civilians’ vehicles and obstructed their movement.

At approximately 19:25, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the intersection of Beir Lid village, east of the city.

At approximately 19:45 on Sunday, 04 February 2018, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kafur Jamal village, south of Tulkarm.

At approximately 14:50 on Monday, 05 February 2018, Israeli forces stationed at ‘Inab military checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, tightened its arbitrary measures at the checkpoint.

At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 06 February 2018, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to ‘Inbitah village, east of the city.

At approximately 15:45, a similar checkpoint was established at the entrance to Beit Lid village, east of the city.

 

 

Arrests at Military Checkpoints:

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Thursday, 01 February 2018, Israeli forces stationed at Abu al-Rish military checkpoint, east of al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, arrested Malek ‘Azmi al-Rajbi (16|), from the Old City. He was then taken to an investigation center in “Kiryat ‘Arba’” settlement, east of the city.

 

  • At approximately 12:20 on Saturday, 03 February 2018, Israeli forces stationed at Za’tarah checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Waleed Naiel Mohamed Zaid (20), and Mohamed Ahmed al-Khalili (21).
  • At approximately 15:00 on Saturday, Israeli forces arrested Abed al-Rahman Muhand Awdalah (14), from ‘Inbitah village, east of Tulkarm, while he was in al-Shayfat area.

 

  • At approximately 20:45 on Sunday, 04 February 2018, Israeli forces stationed at ‘Inab military checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, arrested Osaid Yousef As’ad Mizyed (16) and Nassar Osama Najeeb Nassar (14), from ‘Inbitah village, east of the city.

 

Efforts to Create A Jewish majority

 

Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:

 

 

  • Shooting Incidents:

 

  • At approximately 20:00 on Friday, 02 February 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with around 40 military vehicles and a truck-mounted crane moved into Abu Dis village, east of occupied Jerusalem. They moved into the village to pull a vehicle belonging to an Israeli settler after dozens of Palestinian young men surrounded it and then burned it. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli forces, who fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and sound bombs at them. As a result, 9 civilians sustained wounds. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) stated that its crews treated 2 civilians hit with live bullets, 6 others hit with rubber-coated metal bullets, and another one sustained tear gas canister shrapnel wounds.
  • On Friday, 02 February 2018, hundreds of Jerusalem and al-‘Issawiyia villages residents performed the Friday prayer at the western and main entrance to the village in protest at the Israeli policies against the village and its residents, in addition to collective punishment polices imposed on them. After they finished the prayer, the participants raised banners condemning Israeli attacks and called upon the Israeli authorities to end the collective punishment policy imposed on the village. A number of Palestinian young men threw stones at the Israeli forces stationed in the area; meanwhile, the Israeli forces chased the young men, beat them, and fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 4 civilians were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets and then taken to hospital to receive medical treatment.
  • On Wednesday, 07 February 2018, a group of Palestinian young men gathered in the vicinity of “Kochav Ya’akov” settlement established in Kafur ‘Aqub village lands, north of occupied Jerusalem, and threw stones at the settlement fence. The Israeli forces then opened fire at them. As a result, Nizar Raied al-Louzi (16) was hit with 3 live bullets to the chest and thigh. He was then taken to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah. Due to his serious injury, he was then referred to Hadasah- ‘Ain Karem Hospital in occupied West Jerusalem.

 

  • Arrests and Incursions:

 

  • At approximately 00:00 on Thursday, 01 February 2018, Israeli forces moved into Qalendia refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ibrahim ‘Adawi (25) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 19:00 on Friday, 02 February 2018, Israeli forces moved into Badou village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Sanad Badwan (16) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:30 on Sunday, 04 February 2018, Israeli forces moved into Abu Dis village, east of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched dozens houses from which they arrested 8 civilians. The arrested civilians were identified as Salah al-Baw, Mohamed Khaled Sharaf (24), Mahmoud Shaker Halibah, Muneer Sameer Salah, Ahmed Hasan ‘Iriqat (24), Yazan Jamal Dandan (25), Moahmed Nafez Jaffal (19), and Suliman ‘Areibah.

 

  • At approximately 03:00 on Sunday, Israeli forces moved into Hizmah village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Bashar Suliman Reziq (22) and Mahmoud ‘Afeef Reziq (23).

 

  • At approximately 01:00 on Monday, 05 February 2018, Israeli forces moved into Sho’fat refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed ‘Isaa Shamasnah (39) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Monday, Israeli forces arrested Samer Mujahed (32), Islamic Endowment (Awqaf) employee, who works at the Manuscripts Department in al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The Israeli forces got Mujahed out of al-Aqsa Mosque and then took him to a detention facility in occupied Jerusalem.

 

  • At approximately 18:00 on Monday, Israeli forces moved into al-Thawri neighborhood, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jameel Abed al-Rahman Ghaith and arrested his two children Nour (16) and Ahmed (14).

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Tuesday, 06 July 2018, Israeli forces arrested 3 children from al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, while they were in Bab al-‘Amoud yard in the center of occupied Jerusalem. Lawyer Khaldoun Najem said that the Israeli forces arrested 3 children from al-Aqsa Mosque while they were on their way to their houses in al-‘Issawiyia village. He added that the children were accused of beating an Israeli settler. The children were then taken to al-Qashlah Police Station in Jerusalem’s Old City for investigation. The arrested children were identified as Mohanad Ma’moun Abu ‘Asab (12), Abdullah Abu Khotai (16), and ‘Ali Hamdan (16).

 

  • At approximately 01:30 on Wednesday, 07 February 2018, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Loai Sami al-Rajbi and then arrested him.

 

  • Notices and House Demolitions:

 

  • On Sunday, 04 February 2018, Israeli bulldozers demolished a building consists of 2 rooms used as a primary school for (Abu Nawar) Bedouin community near “Ma’aleh Adumim” settlement established on al-‘Izariyia village lands, east of the city. Dawoud Jahaleen, Representative of Abu Nawar Bedouin Community inhabited by dozens of Bedouin families, said that the building was built in October 2017 for studying purposes to be a primary school in the community resided by 600 people. He also pointed out that this is the only school for elementary students in the community, and other nearby schools are several kilometers away hindering the students’ access to their schools, especially in winter. He also said that around 27 students used to go to the demolished school. Jahaleen also said that the Israeli forces demolished the classrooms while there is a case on those rooms pending before the Israeli Supreme Court and so far no final decision has been issued. He also stated that when the building was constructed, the Abu Nawar Bedouin community residents immediately headed to the Israeli Supreme Court along with lawyer ‘Alaa Mahajnah to obtain a precautionary order to get a license from the Israeli Civil Administration. It should be noted that Israeli Civil Administration is responsible for implementing and enforcing construction laws in the oPt. The court then issued a precautionary order to prevent the building demolition until the Public Prosecution response came in late November. After that, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected the petition not completing the measures required to obtain a license from the Israeli Civil Administration. However, the court gave Abu Nawar Bedouin Community residents two weeks to apply for a licence, during which the precautionary order remained valid. The residents submitted a license request to the Israeli Civil administration at the beginning of late December through lawyer Mahajnah.

Lawyer ‘Alaa Mahajnah said that “The request was examined by the Israeli Civil Administration within a short period that is not commensurate with the procedures and mechanisms in force in such cases as the period needed to issue a construction  takes months and years, but in this case the decision was taken within days.”

He added, “The Civil Administration’s conduct to reject the license application reveals its stated policy to displace the residents of the Palestinian Bedouin communities and gathering them elsewhere, in accordance with the Israeli policy and within the scheme of expelling and displacing the Bedouin communities’ residents.” It should be noted that Abu Nawar Bedouin community is located in area classified A1, which is in the envy of the Israeli forces to control it, because it is being a strategic area that connects the northern and southern West Bank, and that’s why it is geopolitically vital.

 

  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 07 February 2018, Israeli bulldozers demolished a house belonging to Hamidat family in ‘Ain al-Louza neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. The house owner, ‘Ali Mahmoud Hamidat, said that the Israeli forces accompanied with Israeli Municipality crews moved into ‘Ain al-Louza neighborhood and imposed a siege on the whole area. They then demolished the house without a prior warning. He added “We were surprised this morning that the Israeli forces raided the house and starting demolishing it, after allowing us to vacate its contents.” He added, “We tried very hard to obtain a construction license, but in vain. We spent tens thousand dollars on the engineering and law offices, as well as the fines imposed on us and eventually they demolished the house”. He clarified that his house was built in 2006 on an area of 140 square meters and consisted of three rooms, living room, bathrooms and kitchen. He also said that he lived in the house with his wife and his six children.

 

  • Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

 Israeli forces’ attacks

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 01 February 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with a jeep of the Israeli Civil Administration and a bulldozer moved into al-Hamarah area, east of Beit al-Dajan village, east of Nablus. The bulldozer demolished an under-construction house comprised of one floor and built on an area of 100 square meters under the pretext of non-licensing. The house belonged to Diyab Hussain ‘Ali Rajeh, from Balatah Camp, east of Nablus.

 

  • At approximately 12:00 on Monday, 05 February 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with a jeep of the Israeli Civil Administration, a bulldozer, and a truck- mounted crane moved into ‘Ain al-Sakout area in Northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The Israeli forces stationed on an agricultural road near ‘Ain al-Sakout area and then the military vehicles demolished a 500-meter water pipeline, which feeds 100 dunums planted with watermelon.

 

  • At approximately 14:30 on the same day, Israeli forces accompanied with a jeep of the Israeli Civil Administration, bulldozer, and truck-mounted crane moved into Kherbit Um al-Jammal in Northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The Israeli forces stationed in ‘Arab al-Ka’abnah area, where they confiscated 4 tents donated from Acted Foundation, 20 sheep fodders, and 5 barbed wires belonging to Suliman Mohamed Raheel Ka’abnah and Fatema Nassar Suliman Ka’abnah.

The confiscated contents were as follows:

  1. Three tents for sheltering sheep, each one built on an area of 60 square meters; 3 barbed wires; and 20 iron barriers belonging to Hasan Ka’abnah; and
  2. A 60-square-meter tent used for sheltering sheep and 2 barbed wires belonging to Fatmah Ka’abnah.

 

 

 Israeli settlers’ attacks

 

  • At approximately 00:00 on Thursday, 01 February 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar” Settlement established in the northern side of ‘Oreef village lands, south of Nablus, placed rocks on a road connects between ‘Oreef and ‘Asirah al-Qabaliyia villages. The Israeli settlers also set ambushes for Palestinians between olive trees to throw stones at their vehicles. After that, ‘Abed al-Rahman As’ad Mamoud Shehada (23) who was on his way back from ‘Asirah al-Qabaliyah village to ‘Orif village was surprised with the presence of the Israeli settlers and rocks. Out of fear, he ran over the rocks and one of which stuck into the car wheel. He drove 200 meter away while the settlers continued to throw stones .As a result, the car sustained severe damage. When the settlers withdrew, they put screws on the road, causing damage to the car tire of Waleed Sa’di Najeh Safadi.

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Saturday, 03 February 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Beit Ayin” settlement established on Palestinian civilians lands, northwest of Beit Ummer, north of Hebron, attacked farmers on their lands in Khelit al-Kutlah area with stones and insulted them. As a result, the farmers were forced to leave their lands for fear of their lives. It should be noted that most farmers cannot go to their lands in the abovementioned area because the Israeli settlers are usually present on a dirt road under the Israeli forces protection.

 

  • At approximately 10:00, 2 Israeli settlers from “Mitzpe Yair “ settlement established on Palestinian civilians lands in the vicinity of Qawawis village, east of Yatta village, south of Hebron, threw stones at shepherds and then forced them to leave the area. It should be noted that the Israeli settlers pass through a road connected with the /bypass Road (35), which is surrounded by Palestinian planted and pastoral lands, and attack the farmers or shepherds there.

 

  • At approximately 18:45 on Monday, 05 February 2018, following the killing of an Israeli settler near “Arail” settlement in Salfit, dozens of Israeli settlers gathered on Hawarah-Za’tarah Street and “Yitzhar” bypass road, south of Nablus. The Israeli settlers carried out riots in the area and threw stones at Palestinian vehicles. Meanwhile, Khaled Mohamed Abed al-Majeed Khandaqji (55) was driving back home from Ramallah to Nablus. When Khaled arrived at Bita village’s intersection, he was surprised with an Israeli settler coming out of the window of his car with an Israeli registration plate from the opposite direction. The Israeli settler threw a stone at Khaled’s car and broke the windshield.

 

  • At approximately 20:30, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ vehicles. As a result, a stone hit a vehicle carrying 3 Palestinian civilians from Balatah Camp, east of Nablus. One of the passengers was hit with a stone to the head and then taken via an Israeli ambulance to Penslon Hospital in Israel. The wounded person Isma’il Mousa Hasan Abu ‘Alfah (30), said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “ At approximately 20:30 on Monday, 05 February 2018, while I was coming from Ramallah to Nablus in my friend’s car, Hasan Marshoud who was driving and Ahmed al-Srouji next him, I was sitting in the backseat. When we arrived at the vicinity of Hawarah checkpoint, south of Nablus, we found a large number of Israeli settlers and forces gathering and carrying out riots there. The Israeli forces stopped us and ordered us to return because the checkpoint was closed. We turned round and then 5 meters away from the square, I was surprised with an Israeli settler throwing a stone at the car’s windshield. The car’s windshield was broken while the stone hit my face and the glass As a result, I my face bled so much and then taken by an Israeli ambulance to Benslon Hospital in Israel, where I underwent a surgery in my left eye. Moreover, I lost sight in my left eye while I suffer impaired vision in my right eye with.”

 

  • At approximately 20:40 on Tuesday, 06 February 2018, following the killing of an Israeli settler near “Arail” settlement, north of Salfit, a group of Israeli settlers gathered at Hawarah intersection and in the vicinity of Hawarah checkpoint, south of Nablus. They also threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ vehicles. As a result, a car’s windshield belonging to Bassam Mahmoud ‘As’ous sustained damage.

 

  • At approximately 20:00 on Wednesday, 07 February 2018, a group of Israeli settlers gathered in the vicinity of “Arail” settlement square, north of Salfit. They threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ vehicles passing through the area. As a result, Waleed Fathi Shobash (35), from Qalqiliyia, sustained a fracture to the hand and his car’s windows were broken.

 

Recommendations to the International Community

 

PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 11 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967.  PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005.  PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.  Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.

  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 this year to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on 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 international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
  7. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  8. 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.
  9. PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.

israel’s vandalism and theft obstructing Palestinian efforts to make the deserts bloom

Israeli bulldozer destroys Palestinian water pipeline in Jordan Valley

Ma’an – February 5, 2018

JORDAN VALLEY (Ma’an) — Israeli bulldozers destroyed water lines supplying tens of acres of land in the northern Jordan Valley on Monday morning.

Local activist Aref Daraghmeh told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers destroyed a water pipeline belonging to a Palestinian identified as Bassem Faqha.
The line feeds some 150 dunams (37 acres) of land planted with watermelons.
The Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C — under full Israeli military control.

Demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure and residences occur frequently in Area C, with the Jordan Valley’s Bedouin and herding communities being particularly vulnerable to such policies.
Israeli forces confiscated cattle and water tanks, as well as agricultural machinery from Bedouin Palestinians in the so-called firing zone in September of last year.
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