israel’s concentration camps

 

On Israel’s little-known concentration and labor camps in 1948-1955

Civilians captured during the fall of Lydda and Ramle around the time of July 12, 1948 and taken to labour camps. In the July heat they were thirsty and were given a drop of water carried by a child under soldiers’ guard. (Photo: Salman Abu Sitta, Palestine Land Society)

By Yazan al-Saadi | Al-Akhbar | September 29, 2014

Much of the grim and murky circumstances of the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the late 1940s have gradually been exposed over time. One aspect – rarely researched or deeply discussed – is the internment of thousands of Palestinian civilians within at least 22 Zionist-run concentration and labor camps that existed from 1948 to 1955. Now more is known about the contours of this historical crime, due to the comprehensive research by renowned Palestinian historian Salman Abu Sitta and founding member of the Palestinian resource center BADIL Terry Rempel.

The facts are these.

The study – to be published in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Palestine Studies – relies on almost 500 pages of International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) reports written during the 1948 war, that were declassified and made available to the public in 1996, and accidentally discovered by one of the authors in 1999.

Furthermore, testimonies of 22 former Palestinian civilian detainees of these camps were collected by the authors, through interviews they conducted themselves in 2002, or documented by others during different moments of time.

With these sources of information, the authors, as they put it, pieced together a clearer story of how Israel captured and imprisoned “thousands of Palestinian civilians as forced laborers,” and exploited them “to support its war-time economy.”

Digging up the crimes

“I came across this piece of history in the 1990s when I was collecting material and documents about Palestinians,” Abu Sitta told Al-Akhbar English. “The more and more you dig, the more you find there are crimes that have taken place that are not reported and not known.”

At that time, Abu Sitta went to Geneva for a week to check out the newly-opened archives of the ICRC. According to him, the archives were opened to the public after accusations that the ICRC had sided with the Nazis during World War II. It was an opportunity that he could not miss in terms of seeing what the ICRC had recorded of the events that occurred in Palestine in 1948. It was there he stumbled onto records discussing the existence of five concentration camps run by the Israelis.

He then decided to look for witnesses or former detainees, interviewing Palestinians in occupied Palestine, Syria, and Jordan.

“They all described the same story, and their real experience in these camps,” he said.

One question that immediately struck him was why there were barely any references in history about these camps, especially when it became clearer the more he researched that they existed, and were more than just five camps.

“Many former Palestinian detainees saw the concept of Israel as a vicious enemy, so they thought their experience labouring in these concentration camps was nothing in comparison to the other larger tragedy of the Nakba. The Nakba overshadowed everything,” Abu Sitta explained.“However, when I dug into the period of 1948-1955, I found more references like Mohammed Nimr al-Khatib, who was an imam in Haifa, who had written down interviews with someone from al-Yahya family that was in one of the camps. I was able to trace this man all the way to California and spoke with him in 2002,” he added.

More references were eventually and slowly discovered by Abu Sitta that included information from a Jewish woman called Janoud, a single masters thesis in Hebrew University about the topic, and the personal accounts of economist Yusif Sayigh, helped to further flesh out the scale and nature of these camps.

After more than a decade, Abu Sitta, with his co-author Rempel, are finally presenting their findings to the public.

From burden to opportunity: concentration and labor camps

The establishment of concentration and labor camps occurred after the unilateral declaration of Israel’s statehood on May 1948.

Prior to that event, the number of Palestinian captives in Zionist hands were quite low, because, as the study states, “the Zionist leadership concluded early on that forcible expulsion of the civilian population was the only way to establish a Jewish state in Palestine with a large enough Jewish majority to be ‘viable’.” In other words, for the Zionist strategists, prisoners were a burden in the beginning phases of the ethnic cleansing.

Those calculations changed with the declaration of the Israeli state and the involvement of the armies of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Transjordan, after much of the ethnic cleansing had occurred. From that moment, “the Israeli forces began taking prisoners, both regular Arab soldiers (for eventual exchange), and – selectively – able-bodied Palestinian non-combatant civilians.”

The first camp at Ijlil, which was about 13 km northeast of Jaffa, on the site of the destroyed Palestinian village Ijlil al-Qibiliyya, emptied of its inhabitants in early April. Ijlil was predominately made up of tents, housing hundreds and hundreds of prisoners, categorized as POWs by the Israelis, surrounded by barbed wire fences, watchtowers, and a gate with guards.

As the Israeli conquests grew, in turn exceedingly increasing the number of prisoners, three more camps were established. These are the four “official” camps that the Israelis acknowledged and were actively visited by the ICRC.

The study notes:

All four camps were either on or adjacent to military installations set up by the British during the Mandate. These had been used during World War II for the interment of German, Italian, and other POWs. Two of the camps – Atlit, established in July about 20 kms south of Haifa, and Sarafand, established in September near the depopulated village of Sarafand al-Amar in central Palestine—had earlier been used in the 1930s and 1940s to detain illegal Jewish immigrants.

Atlit was the second largest camp after Ijlil, it had the capacity of holding up to 2,900 prisoners, while Sarafand had the maximum capacity of 1,800, and Tel Letwinksy, near Tel Aviv, held more than 1,000.

All four camps were administered by “former British officers who had defected their ranks when British forces withdrew from Palestine in mid-May 1948,” and the camp’s guards and administrative staff were former members of the Irgun and the Stern Gang – both groups designated as terrorist organizations by the British before their departure. In total, the four “official” camps were staffed by 973 soldiers.

A fifth camp, called Umm Khalid, was established at a site of another depopulated village near the Zionist settlement of Netanya, and was even assigned an official number in the records, but never attained “official” status. It had the capacity to hold 1,500 prisoners. Unlike the other four camps, Umm Khalid would be “the fist camp established exclusively as a labor camp” and was “the first of the “recognized” camps to be shut down… by the end of 1948.”

Complementing these five “recognized” camps, were at least 17 other “unrecognized camps” that were not mentioned in official sources, but the authors discovered through multiple prisoner testimonies.

Civilians in a labour camp in Ramleh, July 1948. (Photo: Salman Abu Sitta, Palestine Land Society)

“Many of [these camps],” the authors noted, “[were] apparently improvised or ad hoc, often consisting of no more than a police station, a school, or the house of a village notable,” with holding capacities that ranged from almost 200 prisoners to tens.

Most of the camps, official and unofficial, were situated within the borders of the UN-proposed Jewish state, “although at least four [unofficial camps] – Beersheba, Julis, Bayt Daras, and Bayt Nabala – were in the UN-assigned Arab state and one was inside the Jerusalem “corpus separatum.”

The number of Palestinian non-combatant detainees “far exceeded” those of Arab soldiers in regular armies or bona fide POWs. Citing a July 1948 monthly report made by ICRC mission head Jacques de Reynier, the study states that de Reynier noted, “that the situation of civilian internees was ‘absolutely confused’ with that of POWs, and that the Jewish authorities ‘treated all Arabs between the ages of 16 and 55 as combatants and locked them up as prisoners of war.’” In addition, the ICRC found among the detainees in official camps, that 90 of the prisoners were elderly men, and 77 were boys, aged 15 years or younger. The study highlights the statements by an ICRC delegate Emile Moeri in January 1949 of the camp inmates:

It is painful to see these poor people, especially old, who were snatched from their villages and put without reason in a camp, obliged to pass the winter under wet tents, away from their families; those who could not survive these conditions died. Little children (10-12 years) are equally found under these conditions. Similarly sick people, some with tuberculosis, languish in these camps under conditions which, while fine for healthy individuals, will certainly lead to their death if we do not find a solution to this problem. For a long time we have demanded that the Jewish authorities release those civilians who are sick and need treatment to the care of their families or to an Arab hospital, but we have not received a response.

As the report noted, “there are no precise figures on the total number of Palestinian civilians held by Israel during the 1948-49 war” and estimates tend to not account for “unofficial” camps, in addition to the frequent movement of prisoners between the camps in use. In the four “official” camps, the number of Palestinian prisoners never exceeded 5,000 according to figures in Israeli records.

Taking account of the capacity of Umm Khalid, and estimates of the “unofficial camps,” the final number of Palestinian prisoners could be around the 7,000 range, and perhaps much more when, as the study states, taking into account a November 17, 1948 diary entry by David Ben-Gurion, one of the main Zionist leaders and Israel’s first prime minister, who mentioned “the existence of 9,000 POWs in Israeli-run camps.”

In general, the living conditions in the “official” camps were far below what would be considered appropriate by international law at that time. Moeri, who visited the camps constantly, reported that in Ijlil in November 1948:

“[m]any [of the] tents are torn, that the camp was “not ready for winter,” the latrines not covered, and the canteen not working for two weeks. Referring to an apparently ongoing situation, he stated that “the fruits are still defective, the meat is of poor quality, [and] the vegetables are in short supply.”

Furthermore, Moeri reported that he saw for himself, “the wounds left by the abuse” of the previous week, when the guards had fired on the prisoners, wounding one, and had beaten another.”

As the study shows, the civilian status of the majority of the detainees were clear for the ICRC delegates in the country, who reported that the men captured “had undoubtedly never been in a regular army.” Detainees who were combatants, the study explains, were “routinely shot on the pretense that they had been attempting to escape.”

The Israeli forces seemed to always target able-bodied men, leaving behind women, children, and the elderly – when not massacring them – the policy continued even after there were low levels of military confrontation. All in all, as the Israeli records show and the study cites, “Palestinian civilians comprised the vast majority (82 percent) of the 5,950 listed as internees in the POW camps, while the Palestinians alone (civilian plus military) comprised 85 percent.”

The wide-scale kidnapping and imprisonment of Palestinian civilians tend to correspond with the Israeli military campaigns. For example, one of the first major roundups occurred during Operation Danj, when 60-70,000 Palestinians were expelled from the central towns of Lydda and Ramleh. At the same time, between a fifth and a quarter of the male population from these two towns who were over the age of 15 were sent to the camps.

The largest round-up of civilians came from villages of central Galilee who were captured during Operation Hiram in the fall of 1948.

One Palestinian survivor, Moussa, described to the authors what he witnessed at the time.

“They took us from all villages around us: al-Bi’na, Deir al-Asad, Nahaf, al-Rama, and Eilabun. They took 4 young men and shot them dead… They drove us on foot. It was hot. We were not allowed to drink. They took us to [the Palestinian Druze village] al-Maghar, then [to the Jewish settlement] Nahalal, then to Atlit.”

A November 16, 1948 UN report collaborated Moussa’s account, stating that some 500 Palestinian men “were taken by force march and vehicle to a Jewish concentration camp at Nahlal.”

Maintaining Israel’s economy with “slave labor”

The policy of targeting civilians, particular “able-bodied” men, was not accidental according to the study. It states, “with tens of thousands of Jewish men and women called up for military service, Palestinian civilian internees constituted an important supplement to the Jewish civilian labor employed under emergency legislation in maintaining the Israeli economy,” which even the ICRC delegation had noted in their reports.

The prisoners were forced to do public and military work, such as draining wetlands, working as servants, collecting and transporting looted refugee property, moving stones from demolished Palestinian homes, paving roads, digging military trenches, burying the dead, and much more. As one former Palestinian detainee named Habib Mohammed Ali Jarada described in the study, “At gunpoint, I was made to work all day. At night, we slept in tents. In winter, water was seeping below our bedding, which was dry leaves, cartons and wooden pieces.”

Another prisoner in Umm Khalied, Marwan Iqab al-Yehiya said in an interview with the authors, “We had to cut and carry stones all day [in a quarry]. Our daily food was only one potato in the morning and half dried fish at night. They beat anyone who disobeyed orders.” This labor was interspersed with acts of humiliation by the Israeli guards, with Yehiya speaking of prisoners being “lined up and ordered to strip naked as a punishment for the escape of two prisoners at night.”

“[Jewish] Adults and children came from nearby kibbutz to watch us line up naked and laugh. To us this was most degrading,” he added.

Abuses by the Israeli guards were systematic and rife in the camps, the brunt of which was directed toward villagers, farmers, and lower class Palestinians. This was so, the study said, because educated prisoners “knew their rights and had the confidence to argue with and stand up to their captors.”

What is also interestingly noted by the study is how ideological affiliations between prisoners and their guards, had another effect in terms of the relationship between them. The study, cites the testimony of Kamal Ghattas, who was captured during the Israeli attack in the Galilee, who said:

We had a fight with our jailers. Four hundred of us confronted 100 soldiers. They brought reinforcements. Three of my friends and I were taken to a cell. They threatened to shoot us. All night we sang the Communist Anthem. They took the four of us to Umm Khaled camp. The Israelis were afraid of their image in Europe. Our contact with our Central Committee and Mapam [Socialist Israeli party] saved us .… I met a Russian officer and told him they took us from our homes although we were non-combatants which was against the Geneva Conventions. When he knew I was a Communist he embraced me and said, “Comrade, I have two brothers in the Red Army. Long live Stalin. Long Live Mother Russia”.

Yet, the less fortunate Palestinians faced acts of violence which included arbitrary executions and torture, with no recourse. The executions were always defended as stopping “escape attempts” – real or claimed by the guards.

It became so common that one former Palestinian detainee of Tel Litwinsky, Tewfic Ahmed Jum’a Ghanim recounted, “Anyone who refused to work was shot. They said [the person] tried to escape. Those of us who thought [we] were going to be killed walked backward facing the guards.”

Ultimately, by the end of 1949, Palestinian prisoners were gradually released after heavy lobbying by the ICRC, and other organizations, but was limited in scale and very focused to specific cases. Prisoners of Arab armies were released in prisoner exchanges, but Palestinian prisoners were unilaterally expelled across the armistice line without any food, supplies, or shelter, and told to walk into the distance, never to return.

It would not be until 1955 that most of the Palestinian civilian prisoners would finally be released.

Forced Labour Camps Atlas. (Source: Salman Abu Sitta, Palestine Land Society)

An enduring crime

The importance of this study is multi-faceted. Not only does it reveal the numerous violations of international law and conventions of the age, such as 1907 Hague Regulations and the 1929 Geneva Conventions, but also shows how the event shaped the ICRC in the long run.

Because the ICRC was faced with an Israeli belligerent actor who was unwilling to listen and conform to international law and conventions, the ICRC itself had to adapt in what it considered were practical ways to help ensure the Palestinian civilian prisoners were protected under the barest of rights.

Citing his final report, the study quotes de Reynier:

[The ICRC] protested on numerous occasions affirming the right of these civilians to enjoy their freedom unless found guilty and judged by a court. But we have tacitly accepted their POW status because in this way they would enjoy the rights conferred upon them by the Convention. Otherwise, if they were not in the camps they would be expelled [to an Arab country] and in one way or another, they would lead, without resources, the miserable life of refugees.

In the end, the ICRC, and other organizations, were simply ineffective as Israel ignored its condemnations with impunity, in addition to the diplomatic cover of major Western powers.

More importantly, the study sheds more light on the extent of the Israeli crimes during its brutal and bloody birth. And “much more remains to be told,” as the final line of the study states.

“It is amazing to me, and many Europeans, who have seen my evidence,” Abu Sitta said, “that a forced labor camp was opened in Palestine three years after they were closed in Germany, and were run by former prisoners – there were German Jewish guards.”

“This is a bad reflection of the human spirit, where the oppressed copies an oppressor against innocent lives,” he added. The study essentially shows the foundations and beginnings of Israeli policy towards Palestinian civilians that comes in the form of kidnapping, arrest, and detainment. This criminality continues till this day. One merely has to read the reports on the hundreds of Palestinians arrested prior, during, and after Israel’s latest war on Gaza mid-summer of this year.

“Gaza today is a concentration camp, no different than the past,” Abu Sitta concluded to Al-Akhbar English.

Yazan is a staff writer for Al-Akhbar English. Follow him on Twitter: @WhySadeye

 

israel’s war on Palestine’s water supplies: UNICEF-funded water pipeline destroyed in Jordan Valley

Israeli forces destroy UNICEF-funded water pipeline in Jordan Valley

Ma’an – February 20, 2017

 

(File)

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces demolished a water pipeline in the Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank on Monday, after the same pipeline was destroyed earlier this month, according to local sources.

 
Muataz Bisharat, a local official who monitors Israeli activities in the Jordan Valley, told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers destroyed the eight-and-a-half kilometers pipeline running between the Bedouin communities of al-Hadidiya and al-Ras al-Ahmar in the northern Jordan Valley, east of the Tubas district.
He said that 47 Palestinian families depended on the pipeline as their water source.
According to Bisharat, the pipeline was funded by international humanitarian organization UNICEF, at a construction cost of 12,500 euros (approximately $13,270). He said that it was the second time this month that Israeli forces had destroyed the pipeline.
A spokesperson for Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), which is responsible for implementing the Israeli government’s policy in the occupied Palestinian territory, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the incident.
Following a spate of demolitions targeting Bedouin communities in the occupied West Bank last year, which included the destruction of a new drinking water network supported by UNICEF, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator in Palestine Robert Piper warned of the risk of forcible transfer of Bedouin communities.
“Repeated rounds of demolitions, restrictions on access to basic services and regular visits by Israeli security personnel promoting ‘relocation plans’ are all part of a coercive environment that now surrounds these vulnerable Palestinian households,” Piper said at the time, highlighting that Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley already suffered from extreme water scarcity.
UNOCHA documented in 2016 the highest number of demolitions in the occupied territory since the agency first began recording them.
Since the beginning of 2017, Israeli forces carried out demolitions in the Jordan Valley on at least six other occasions, in addition to seizing irrigation hoses in the region.
According to UNICEF, which manages and funds projects in the Jordan Valley to improve water and sanitation infrastructure, lack of clean water in the occupied territory forces Palestinians to make “unhealthy compromises” by trading off between household or personal hygiene.
Amnesty International estimates that up to 200,000 Palestinians in the West Bank do not have access to running water.
Meanwhile, just half of Palestinian proposals for wells and improvement projects to the water network were approved by Israel between 1995 and 2008, compared to a 100 percent approval rate for Israeli projects, according to Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq.
As a result, demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure and residences occur frequently in areas fully controlled by the Israeli military, known as Area C.
Some 88 percent of the Jordan Valley is classified as Area C , making the region’s Bedouin and herding communities particularly vulnerable to such policies.

‘Open Bethlehem’–Podcast Discussion on Palestinian Film

Recently the good folks at We Hold These Truths uploaded a podcast featuring a discussion on the film, “Open Bethlehem.” That’s the trailer of the film you see above. The description of the podcast is below:

Victories for the struggle for peace and justice for Palestinians come slowly, but are coming more frequently. We discuss the inspiring documentary Open, Bethlehem by Palestinian filmmaker, Leila Sansour. and her Bethlehem passport project designed to put wings to her film. We also talk about a recent, major victory in Boulder, Colorado where a resolution to make the Palestinian city of Nablus a sister city to Boulder was passed by the city council over strong opposition from vocal, local Zionists.

You can go here to access the full podcast. And you can also go here to visit the “Open Bethlehem” website and here to apply for your own Bethlehem passport. Should you be issued a passport, you will automatically become eligible to become an official ambassador of the holy city where Jesus was born. Here is a picture of former President Jimmy Carter being issued his own passport:

 photo jcbethpssport_zps0wx4ipjw.jpg

The passport reads as follows:

“In that the bearer of this passport is a citizen of Bethlehem; that they recognize this ancient city provides a light to the world, and to all people who uphold the values of a just and open society; that they will remain a true friend to Bethlehem through its imprisonment, and that they will strive to keep the ideals of Bethlehem alive as long as the wall stands; we ask you to respect the bearer of the passport and to let them pass freely.”

Congresswoman Betty McCollum tells Netanyahu to end abuse of Palestinian children

Source

Palestinian children protest to show solidarity with child prisoners in Israeli jails, Gaza city, January 2015.

Mohammed Asad APA images

 

A member of Congress said she had “a clear message” for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in Washington on Wednesday: he must respect the rights of Palestinian children.

As US President Donald Trump and the Israeli leader held a joint press conference at the White House, Representative Betty McCollum of Minnesota challenged Israel’s systematic abuses of Palestinian children in a post on Facebook.

“Israel’s military detention system arrests, interrogates and prosecutes as many as 700 Palestinian children – as young as 11 years old – every year,” McCollum says. “Abuse is rampant and children often have no lawyer or parent present during detention and interrogation.”

“Israel must end the abusive military detention of Palestinian children,” she adds. “Israeli children, Palestinian children – all children – should be able to live free of systematic, state-sponsored human rights abuses! Respecting the human rights of children is the only path to peace and security in the Middle East.”

McCollum also took to Twitter to demand accountability from Netanyahu:

     Rep. Betty McCollum

 @BettyMcCollum04

As @netanyahu visits today, Israel must respect human rights & end abusive military detention of Palestinian children. 

Breaking silence

McCollum continues to break with the vast majority of US lawmakers who refuse to challenge Israeli policy.

In June 2015, the Democrat authored a letter, co-signed by 18 other members of Congress, demanding that the Obama adminstration push Israel to end its abuses of Palestinian children.

Two months later, the lawmaker called for sanctions on the Israeli Border Police unit responsible for killing Palestinian teenagers Nadim Nuwara and Muhammad Abu al-Thahir on 15 May 2014.

The boys were shot in cold blood at a Nakba Day protest – their killings caught on video – near the Ofer military prison in the occupied West Bank village of Beitunia.

McCollum initiated another push in June 2016 urging Obama to appoint a special envoy to protect the rights of Palestinian children under Israeli occupation. Lawmakers who signed McCollum’s letter condemned Israel’s rampant use of administrative detention – incarceration without charge or trial – against Palestinian children in Israeli military jails.

Grassroots activists with the No Way to Treat a Child campaign – a joint initiative of Defense for Children International – Palestine and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – have been working closely with lawmakers on the issue of Palestinian children in detention.

“Congresswoman McCollum’s leadership and integrity inspires us,” AFSC’s Jennifer Bing told The Electronic Intifada.

“Her voice is among a growing number of Congress members who are speaking up for the human rights of Palestinian children – children who face systematic oppression and denial of rights by the Israeli army,” Bing added.

Inspired by the No Way to Treat a Child campaign in the US, activists in Australia gathered the support of 49 members of Parliament last November on a letter calling for Israel to end its abuses of Palestinian children

Netanyahu cheated US taxpayers under four different IDs when he was studying in United States

Pastor Baldwin: Why I hate Netanyahu

bomb3[1]When American horror books author Stephen King wrote: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on both of us” – being a Christian Zionist, I’m sure he was not talking about Benjamin Netanyahu.

Benjamin Netanyahu has been fooling Americans before joining politics. He cheated US taxpayers under four different IDs when he was studying in United States. He inherited this and many other immoral characteristics from his father Benzion Netanyahu (d. 2012) – a Jew terrorist.

The Israeli weekly Ha’ir reports that four requests for credit approval appear in the US social security file number 020-36-4537. Under each request one finds a different name: Benjamin Netanyahu, Benjamin Nitai, John Jay Sullivan and John Jay Sullivan Jr. – one man, four names (here).

Charles (Chuck) Baldwin, 64, American pastor, politician, radio host, and blogger posted an article on February 9, entitled, Is Netanyahu Finished?. In the article the good pastor claims that people around world are finding out that Netanyahu is a serial liar – he lied about Muslim threat to the US, and Syria, Iran, and Iraq are threat to American interests in the region. currently, he is being investigated at home for corruption.

The removal of Netanyahu from office would be a very good thing for the entire world. The problem is the State of Israel is controlled by about 20 mega-rich Zionist families. To think that these power-brokers would replace Bibi with a truly honest man is as likely as the sun rising in the west tomorrow morning,” pastor said.

Is Baldwin anti-Israel? Nope. He believes that Israel has enough military power to wipe out any country in the Middle East, and it doesn’t need Washington’s permission to do that. However, Baldwin believes that Israeli interests are not necessarily American interests, therefore, American should stop pampering the Zionist regime. How Baldwin knows about Israel’s military strength? It could be judged by his knowledge of the Middle East from the following statement:

America continues to furnish Israel’s enemies with three times more aid and assistance than it does Israel. Three times. Is that being a blessing to Israel? America gives unflinching and magnanimous support to militant Muslim governments such as Saudi Arabia. There is no nation in the Middle East that has harbored, trained, supplied, and supported more terrorists than Saudi Arabia. Is that being a blessing to Israel? In addition, every time an American President wants to meddle in Middle Eastern affairs, he insists that Israel give up land for peace,” wrote Baldwin on his blog on January 15, 2008 while endorsing Congressman Ron Paul.

Professor Melvin A. Goodman, former CIA analyst and author claimed in July 2013 that Israel receives 46% of total annual USAID.

On February 15, 2017, American Jewish journalist, author, academic, and contributing editor at The Atlantic, and The Daily Jewish Forward, professor Peter Alexander Beinart penned an article, entitled, “How Benjamin Netanyahu Played Us On The Iran Deal – And We Let him“.

The political barriers that Netanyahu faced two years ago are gone. He and Trump are now free to renounce the Iran nuclear deal, and thus, by Netanyahu’s logic, prevent a second Shoah. Or, failing that, Netanyahu could take matters into his own hands and bomb Iran’s nuclear sites himself, secure in the knowledge that Trump is less likely than Obama to object,” Beinart said.

Netanyahu may kiss Trump for ‘tearing Iran nuclear agreement’, but that wouldn’t effect Iran because it signed the agreement with UN’s five permanent members and Germany – not just United States. Russia, China, Germany, and France would refuse to follow Trump’s decision because they all need Iranian oil money ($410 billion/year). Even Pentagon’s to gun Gen. James Mattis supports the agreement.

Netanyahu, for all his thunderous emotion, wasn’t being honest when he railed against the nuclear agreement. He wasn’t actually worried that the deal paves Iran’s path to the bomb. His real concern was that it would improve relations between Washington and Tehran, thus empowering Israel’s greatest regional foe, and reducing America’s dependence on Israel. Now that the chances of a US-Iranian détente have diminished (thanks to the Zionist shill in the White House), so have Netanyahu’s fears about the nuclear deal. In speaking to Americans, Netanyahu emphasized the nuclear issue because it allowed him to invoke the specter of the Holocaust, which is what he’s been doing his entire career,” Beinart said.

Poll: Canada’s politicians drastically out of touch with public on israel

Poll: Canada’s politicians drastically out of touch with public on Israel

A new Ekos poll released this morning found that 46 per cent of Canadians, including a majority of those who support every party but the Conservatives, hold a negative view of Israel. The Canadian government is seen to have a pro-Israel bias by 61 per cent of respondents, while 91 per cent do not think criticism of Israeli government policy is necessarily anti-semitic. These results suggest that Canada’s big political parties are out of step with Canadians on these issues.

In the first all-party leaders’ debate in Canada’s 2015 federal election, Stephen Harper, arguably the most pro-Israel Prime Minister in Canadian history, challenged Justin Trudeau to clarify his attitude toward Israel. Harper asserted that “there is a movement at the United Nations to isolate and denigrate the state of Israel… The best friend and ally this country has is in a very dangerous region, and we will never go along with that anti-Israel position.”

Justin Trudeau’s response? “All parties are in agreement on this.”

Since taking office, Prime Minister Trudeau has demonstrated that, when it comes to Israel, he is indeed in agreement with Stephen Harper.

In less than 18 months in office, the Trudeau government has voted against no less than sixteen United Nations resolutions critical of Israel. Perhaps the most notable example is a General Assembly resolution which reaffirmed Palestinians’ right to self-determination, including the right to have an independent state. Adopted in December 2015 with the support of 177 countries, that resolution was opposed by Israel, the United States and Canada, along with the tiny island states of Palau, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Nauru.

One year later, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution declaring that Israeli settlements on territory intended for a Palestinian state were a “flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of…peace” between Israel and Palestine. The unanimous Security Council vote (with the U.S. abstaining) reflected a decades-long international consensus on the illegality of the settlements.

Although that resolution enjoyed overwhelming support of Security Council members, including Canadian allies France, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, the Trudeau government remained conspicuously silent after its adoption. As the Canadian Jewish News reported, “amid the controversy surrounding last month’s UN Security Council resolution slamming Israel for settlement activity and calling all territory it captured in the 1967 war illegal, Canada has kept a low profile and reiterated its support for a two-state solution.”

Then, on February 6, 2017, Israel’s Knesset passed a ‘Settlement Regulation’ Law which purported to legalize settlements. The law was plainly intended to flout the Security Council’s unanimous will, so Trudeau’s government was left with no option but to admonish Israel, albeit meekly. In a statement issued quietly, Canada’s new Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said that the Settlement Regulation law was “unhelpful to the advancement of the peace process in the region.” At the same time, she reiterated that Canada is a “steadfast friend and ally of Israel” and reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to “Israel’s right to live in peace with its neighbours within secure boundaries and free of terrorism…”

It is instructive to compare the Trudeau government’s response to Israel’s ‘Settlement Regulation’ law to another foreign policy hotspot, Crimea. In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea after a violent revolution toppled its pro-Russian but democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych. Prior to the annexation, a referendum was held in Crimea in which 97% of Crimeans voted for integration into the Russian Federation. The turnout was 83%. Trudeau’s reaction to the annexation was to describe Vladimir Putin as a “bully” whom he would “confront” and to impose economic sanctions on Russia.

Much of the international community regards the Crimean referendum as invalid, primarily because it was held while Russian troops occupied Crimea. But in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, there has been no referendum at all in which occupied Palestinians have voted to live under Israeli rule. Indeed, if such a vote were held today, it is virtually certain that Palestinians would vote overwhelmingly for independence from Israel, notwithstanding the presence of Israeli troops on occupied Palestinian territory. Yet the Trudeau government regards Putin as a ‘bully” whose country deserves to be sanctioned, while it considers Israel’s government, which by Canada’s own admission has illegally annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, as Canada’s “best friend and ally” whose “flagrant violation under international law” is merely “unhelpful.”

Israel’s apologists often complain that Israel is subjected to a double standard. That is true, but what those apologists aren’t telling you is that the double standard favours Israel.

Why does this double standard prevail in Canada? In a country that purports to be a democracy, one would expect the answer to be: ‘because Canadians want it that way.’ Yet a new survey done by EKOS Research Associates makes it crystal clear that Canadians do not want it that way.

The survey asked respondents whether they had a negative or positive view of Israel’s government. Of those who had an opinion, 46% had a negative view and only 28% had a positive view. Conservative Party supporters were on the fringes of public opinion, with a 58% positive view. The average for supporters of the other four parties was 11% positive and 63% negative. Remarkably, 55% of supporters of the governing Liberal Party had a negative view of Israel’s government – 2.5 times as many Liberal supporters who had a positive view (22%).

When asked whether they believe Canada’s government was biased towards Israel or Palestinians, 61% of respondents said pro-Israel and 16% said pro-Palestinian. Excluding Conservative Party supporters, 74% viewed Canada’s Government as having a pro-Israel bias while only 9% saw it as pro-Palestinian.

The divide between public and elite opinion is even greater on the question of whether criticism of Israel’s government is anti-Semitic. Both federally and in Ontario, elected officials of the Liberal and Conservative parties recently supported motions condemning the movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS. Although neither of those motions explicitly described BDS supporters as anti-Semites, the debates that led to their adoption were rife with explicit allegations that that is precisely what BDS supporters are. Conservative Ontario MPP Gila Martow went so far as to imply that the BDS movement is like the Ku Klux Klan.

Yet hardly anyone outside of the Conservative and Liberal caucuses believes that criticism of Israel’s Government is necessarily anti-Semitic. The EKOS survey found that 91% to 100% of Liberal, Green and NDP supporters do not believe that criticism of Israeli government policy is necessarily anti-Semitic, and that even 80% of Conservative supporters hold that view. Nonetheless, elected officials from both the Conservative and Liberal Parties darkly declare that calling for peaceful economic sanctions on a state that has been violating the Fourth Geneva Convention for decades is the ‘new anti-Semitism.’

Martin Luther King once said that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” When it comes to Canadian political support for Palestinian rights, the arc has begun to bend.

Days ago, the Green Party of Canada announced that it had adopted a policy calling for sanctions on Israel., including an arms embargo. That policy also urges the International Criminal Court to prioritize its investigation into potential Israeli war crimes. Moreover, it calls on the Government of Canada to recognize the state of Palestine, which the vast majority of states have already done, but which Canada has failed inexcusably to do. The Green Party’s sanctions policy was adopted with the support of 90% of party members who voted.

The Green Party’s sanctions policy passed overwhelmingly despite fierce condemnation from apologists for Israel’s apartheid regime. Those apologists included Conservative MP Peter Kent, who thundered in Parliament that “the Green Party has been co-opted by extreme activists who, in an obsessive campaign of prejudice against Israelis, threaten the party’s own credibility and relevance in Canadian politics.”

If the ‘Honourable’ Mr. Kent paid the slightest attention to Canadian public opinion on Israel, he would know that the credibility and relevance being threatened are his own.

A version of this article first appeared on Ricochet.

 

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism against the State of Palestine

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine

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

(09 – 15 February 2016)

 

  • A Palestinian Civilian succumbed to his wounds in the West Bank
  • Four Palestinian civilians were wounded, including 2 journalists, in the West Bank.
  • Israeli forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea.
  • Israeli forces continued to target the Gaza Strip border areas, but no casualties were reported.
  • Israeli forces conducted 60 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and one limited incursion in the northern Gaza Strip.
  • 51 civilians, including 4 children, were arrested in the West Bank.
  • 9 of them were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • Settlers took over a room, store and yard in Silwan village.
  • 3 houses and sheep barn were destroyed in al-‘Issawiya village, while a civilian was forced to self-demolish a store in Silwan.
  • Two under-construction houses, part of an inhabited house and shop were levelled in Hezma village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 10th
  • Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.
  • 9 Palestinian civilians, including a child and a girl, were arrested at military checkpoints.
  • Israeli forces arrested Director of Tika Agency at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.

 

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (09 – 15 February 2017).

 

Shooting:

During the reporting period, A Palestinian civilian succumbed to his wounded while Israeli forces wounded 4 others, including 2 journalists, in the West Bank.  In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces also continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea and open fire at farmers in the border areas.

 

In the West Bank, On 10 February 2017, the family of Mohammed ‘Amer Jallad (23) from Tulkarm received the news of his death in Belinison Hospital in Petah Tikva in Israel after succumbing to his wounds.  According to PCHR’s investigations, on 09 November 2016, Israeli soldiers who were patrolling in the streets of Howarah village, south of Nablus, opened fire at the aforementioned civilian.  As a result, he was hit with a bullet to the back and another to the right hand.  The Israeli forces claimed that Jallad attempted to stab an Israeli soldier before being shot.  After Jallad was wounded and arrested, he stayed in Belinison Hospital in Petah Tikva until he died.

 

On the same day noon, Nidal Ishtaya (48), a photojournalist in the Xinhua – China News Agency, and Ayman al-Nobani (32), a reporter in the Palestinian News Agency (WAFA), were both wounded while covering the weekly protest in Kafr Qodoum, northeast of Qalqilya.

 

On the same day afternoon, Israeli forces wounded two Palestinian civilians from Madma village, south of Nablus when a number of civilians hurried to rescue volunteer journalist in B’Tselem Center, Ahmed Ziyadah (26).  The latter was arrested and beaten up by the Israeli soldiers when he was taking photos of the lands seized and planted with grapes.by settlers, south of his village.

 

In the Gaza Strip, in the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, on 12 February 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats and chased them.  The shooting recurred on 14 February 2017, but neither causalities nor damages were reported.

 

On the same day, the Israeli gunboats opened fire at the fishing boats sailing off Rafah shore, south of the Gaza Strip.  Neither casualties nor damages were reported.

 

In the context of targeting border areas, on 15 February 2017, Israeli forces sporadically opened fire at the border area, north of Beit Hanoun village in the northern Gaza Strip.  Neither casualties nor damages were reported.

 

Incursions:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 60 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 51 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children. Nine of them were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.

 

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces carried out a limited incursion into the northern side of the Agricultural School, north of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, and levelled lands.

 

Efforts to create Jewish majority

In the context of house demolitions and notices, On 12 February 2017, the family of ‘Amamr Qara’in self-demolish their store in Silwan village, south of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City, implementing the Israeli Municipality’s decision and avoiding to pay financial fines.  The 12-square-meter store was built of bricks and cardboard sheets two years ago

 

On 14 February 2017, the Israeli authorities demolished a house in al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, belonging to the family of Saleh Turk.  The house used to shelter a family of 11 members, including 6 children.

 

On the Same say, the Israeli authorities demolished an under-construction house comprised of two apartments in al-‘Issawiyah village as well belonging to Hasan Yasin Mustafa in addition to a sheep barn in the same area.  The demolition was under the pretext of building without a license.

 

On 15 February 2017, Israeli forces accompanied with Israeli Municipality crews and bulldozers moved into the area adjacent to the annexation wall, which separates Hezma village from Jerusalem.  The Israeli bulldozers immediately demolished two under-construction houses, part of an inhabited house and a shop under the pretext of building without a license.

 

In the same context, the Israeli municipality handed 17 families in Silwan village, south of Jerusalem’s Old City, administrative and judicial house demolition notices and orders.  Those houses are located in the neighbourhoods of al-Bustan, ‘Ein al-Lozah and Wadi Helweh.  Those families were identified as al-Roweidi, al-Qadi, al-Shaloudi, al-‘Abasi, Hamdan and Qara’in, and their members are around 120, most of whom were children and women.

 

In the context of settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 10 February 2017, Israeli settlers seized an uninhabited estate in Wadi Helweh neighbourhood in Silwan village.  The estate is comprised of a residential room, store and yard.

 

Restrictions on movement:

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

 

The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.  The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 2 million people.  The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy.  They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons.  Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.

 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to suffocate the Palestinian cities and village by imposing military checkpoints around and/or between them. This created “cantons” isolated from each other that hinders the movement of civilians. Moreover, the Palestinian civilians suffering aggravated because of the annexation wall and checkpoints erected on daily basis to catch Palestinians.

 

 

Details

 

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

 

Thursday, 09 February 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Deir al-‘Asal village, west of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Nafeth Rasmi al-Shawamrah (34) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Kharsa village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Kamel Eqtil and then arrested his son Jaser (26). Following that, the Israeli soldiers raided and searched a house belonging to Montaser Abdul Majid Shadeed (27) and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 04:30, Israeli forces moved into Mazare’i al-Nubani village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to ‘Odah Ahmed ‘Odah al-Qadi (50) and Mustafa ‘Oudah Ahmed al-Qadi (16) and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 20:30, Israeli forces moved into Beta village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Sadeq Nasser ‘Ouaidah (19), who carried out a stab attack in Petah Tikva, and questioned the family members, but no arrests were reported. The Israeli forces also raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Hamzah Abdul Raouf al-Jaghoub (19) and Adham Lutfi Ghazi (19), Sadeq’s friends, and then arrested them.

 

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Ethna, al-Samou’a and al-Koum villages in Hebron.

 

Friday, 10 February 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Oasrin village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Samer Rawhi ‘Adili (28), confiscated his car and then arrested him. They claimed that Samer transferred Sadeq ‘Ouaidah, who carried out a stab attack in Petah Tikva, by his car to ‘Azzoun Etmah village, southeast of Qalqiliyah. It should be noted that Palestinian workers, who did not obtaine work permits in Israel, usually cross the abovementioned village to their work places in Israel.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into ‘Asker refugee camp, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Saleem Suleiman Mohammed al-‘Akah (24) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into N’ilin village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to former prisoner Morad Reda Mohammed Hamdiah (33) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 03:15, Israeli forces moved into ‘Azzoun Etmah village, southeast of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 8 civilians (PCHR keeps the names of the arrested civilians). The Israeli forces claimed that the arrested civilians transfer by their own cars the Palestinian workers, who did not obtain work permits in Israel. They were arrested after a Palestinian young man carried out a stab attack in Petah Tikva a day before.

 

  • At approximately 14:00, the family of Mohammed ‘Amer Thabet Ibrahim Jallad (23) from Tulkarm were informed of his death in Belinison Hospital in Petah Tikva in Israel. Mohammed was arrested after being wounded by Israeli soldiers.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 08:15 on Wednesday, 09 November 2016, one of the Israeli soldiers, who were patrolling the main street in Howrah village, south of Nablus, opened fire at Mohammed Jallad. As a result, he was hit with a bullet to the back, causing laceration, and another to the waist as his intestines came out of his waist. He was also hit with a bullet to the right hand, cutting the main hand artery according to the PRCS officer, who offered him first aid before a Magen David Adom’s (MDA) ambulance arrived and took him to an unknown destination. The Israeli forces claimed that Jallad attempted to stab an Israeli soldier before the latter shoot him. It was later found out that the abovementioned civilian had a sebaceous cyst in the lymph glands and was receiving medical treatment in the Hospital of al-Najah National University in Nablus. He was on his way to the abovementioned hospital to complete his medical treatment. After Jallad was wounded and arrested, he stayed in Belinison Hospital in Petah Tikva until he was announced dead.

 

  • At approximately 14:30, Israeli forces moved into Fahmah village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Moneer Khamis al-Batran (30). At approximately 15:30, they withdrew taking him to an unknown destination.

 

  • In the evening, Israeli forces injured 2 Palestinian civilians from Madama, south of Nablus. According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 17:00, journalist Ahmed Abdul Ghani Salim Ziyadah (26) from Madama, south of Nablus, was taking photos of the lands seized and planted with vineyards by Israeli settlers, south of his village. The Israeli soldiers from “Yitzhar” settlement moved into the area and stopped him as three soldiers heavily beat and kicked his head though Ahmed showed them his press card in addition to his volunteer card in the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories B’Tselem. They then arrested him and handcuffed him while he was lying on the ground. Ahmed’s brothers and residents of the village heard the news, so they rushed to the place to save him. His brother Mahmoud (25) was the first to arrive, and when he attempted to approach him, the soldiers drove him out. When he was moving back, a soldier fired a metal bullet directly to his left foot, wounding his knee. A civilian car took him to nearby Burin village, from which he was transferred via a PRCS ambulance to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus. Following that, the Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters at the crowd to force them to leave the area. As a result, Mohammed Na’im Mohammed Nassar (35) was hit with a tear gas canister to the head after which he was as well transferred to Rafidia Hospital. The Israeli forces then arrested the abovementioned journalist and took him to an unknown destination.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Yatta and Sa’ir villages in Hebron; Dura al-Qare’i village, north of Ramallah.

 

Saturday, 11 February 2017

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (8) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Dura, Bani Na’im, Deir al-‘asal and Deir Samet villages in Hebron; Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus; Jeet village, northeast of Qalqiliyah; Kafel Hares village, north of Salfit and Kuber village, north of Ramallah.

 

Sunday, 12 February 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Yatta, south of Hebron, and stationed in al-Karmel neighbourhood. They raided and searched a house belonging to Haitham Jamil ‘Awad (30) and then handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of Bethlehem.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Qusai Mohammed Kamel Abu Maria (14) and then arrested him. At the meantime, anther Israeli force raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Arafat ‘Essa al-Za’aqiq, whose son ‘Arafat was killed on 27 November 2015 by the Israeli forces in Abu al-Tawq area, east of the village. They claimed that ‘Arafat carried out a run-over attack against the Israeli soldiers. The soldiers took the family members outside the house to search it. They also raided a house belonging to the ‘Arafat’s uncles: Mohammed, Ghazi and Bashar and took the names of their family members and phone numbers in addition to taking photos of them. However, no arrests were reported.

 

  • At approximately 07:30, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee for fear of their lives, but neither casualties nor material damages were reported.

 

  • At approximately 09:10, Israeli forces moved into ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 3 civilians namely Omer Ahmed Abdullah Saleem (20), Osama Ahmed Abdullah Saleem (19) and Laith Rabi Ahmed Rabi (20).

 

  • At approximately 23:00, Israeli gunboats opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boats sailing off Rafah shore in the southern Gaza Strip. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee for fear of their lives, but neither casualties nor damages were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: ‘Ourta village, southeast of Nablus; Betunia village, west of Ramallah and Beit Awa and al-Mawreq villages in Hebron.

 

Monday, 13 February 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Khalid ‘Ali Mustafa Suwailem (23) and his cousin ‘Esam ‘Ali Salah Suwailem (21) and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into the southern area in Hebron. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Emad Hamdi Abu Khalaf (25), Yusuf Khairi Abu Suneinah (23) and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 08:00, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Bit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee for fear of their lives, but neither casualties nor material damages were reported.

 

  • At approximately 11:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Jaftalak village, north of Jericho. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Mustafa Bani ‘Oudah (37) and then arrested him.

 

  • Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Sa’ir and Yatta villages in Hebron and Howarah village in Nablus.

 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Shayoukh village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Abdul Rahim Abdul Jawad Halaiqah (55) and then arrested him.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Beit Ummer and al-Thaheriyah villages and al-‘Aroub refugee camps in Hebron.

 

 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Shajenah Valley village, east of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Noor Ahmed al-Bastanji (22) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. They patrolled in the streets and deployed in the area. They then raided and searched 4 houses belonging to Feras Mahmoud Shehadah (20), Zaid ‘Ali abdul Hafez Edwan (22), Nedal Safwan Mansour Saleem (15) and Hamed Jamal Abu Haniah (19).

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 3 civilians, including a child. The arrested civilians were identified as Raed Mohammed Mahmoud Ekhleil (4), who was injured by the Israeli forces to the pelvis two months ago and is not able to move; Mohammed Ghazi Essa Za’aqiq (20) and Mohammed Mahmoud Abdullah ‘Awad (16).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Bil’in village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Waqqas Hasan Mansour (14) and then arrested him. They also raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Malek Radi Yaseen (19) and then handed his family a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Emrish village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Yusuf Ibrahim Shaheen (22) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Faqou’ah village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested teacher Abdullah ‘Ali Enkhaili (28).

 

  • At approximately 04:30, Israeli forces moved into Kafer ‘Ein village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to former prisoner Rami Rebhi al-Barghuthi (35) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 10:50, Israeli forces stationed in the military watchtowers, north of al-Zera’ah School, north of Beit Hanoun village in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at the border area. As a result, the farmers and shepherds were panicked, so they left the area for fear of their lives.

 

  • Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Kafer Ne’mah and N’ilin villages, west of Ramallah ; Beta village, southeast of Nablus.

 

  • Use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrations protesting settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall

 

West Bank:

 

  • Following the Friday prayer on 10 February 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized a peaceful protest in the eastern Mosque in Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, and then headed to the eastern entrance of the village in protest against closing that entrance since the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada with an iron gate. When the protesters approached the entrance, the Israeli forces fired live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, Nedal Shafiq Taher Ehstiyah (48), journalist at Xinhua Chinese News Agency, sustained a metal bullet wound to the left foot as he was directly shot while covering the protest along with a group of journalists. He was transferred to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus. Moreover, Ayman Amin al-Nubani (32), a reporter at Wafa News Agency, was hit with a metal bullet to the right shoulder and received medical treatment at the spot.

 

  • Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized demonstrations in Bil’in and Nil’in villages, west of Ramallah and al-Nabi Saleh, northwest of the city, and Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, protesting against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased the protesters into olive fields and between houses.  As a result, many of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.

 

 

  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

 

%d bloggers like this: