همروجة وارسو

وليد شرارة

 الجمعة 15 شباط 2019

مؤتمر وارسو مثال جديد على مدى تحول السياسة إلى فنٍّ استعراضي. كان الهدف المركزي المعلَن للمؤتمر، عند بدء الإعداد لعقده من قِبَل الإدارة الأميركية، هو مواجهة إيران. لكن رغبة الإدارة في تأمين أوسع مشاركة ممكنة في المؤتمر، وإدراكها جدية الخلافات بينها وبين الأطراف الأوروبية الوازنة، كألمانيا وفرنسا والمفوضية الأوروبية وحتى بريطانيا، حول كيفية مقاربة الملف الإيراني، دفعاها إلى ربطه بهدف آخر وهو «الترويج لمستقبل السلام والأمن في الشرق الأوسط».

أتى عزوف تركيا وروسيا عن المشاركة فيه، وإدانة السلطة الفلسطينية له، وضعف مستوى تمثيل الأطراف الأوروبية المذكورة، ليظهر مجدداً عجز الولايات المتحدة عن فرض أجندتها على لاعبين سياسيين معنيين بأبرز القضايا التي يتطرق لها المؤتمر، على رغم أن بعضهم لا يزال حليفاً لها. من الصعب الاقتناع بأن هذه النتيجة لم تكن متوقعة من قِبَل أركان إدارة دونالد ترامب وبقية المشاركين بحماسة في همروجة وارسو. اعتبارات أخرى، سياسية وانتخابية، يغلب عليها البعد الاستعراضي، تشكل الخلفية الفعلية للمؤتمر، وتحتلّ حيزاً أساسياً في حسابات «نجومه» الأميركيين والإسرائيليين وبعض الخليجيين.

ضرورة طمأنة الحلفاء

ليس سراً أن إيران عدو مشترك لجميع أطراف وارسو. لا يفوّت أي منهم فرصة لاتهامها بأنها مصدر كل الشرور في العالم، والتنسيق بينهم ضدها بات معروفاً. لا يحتاج هذا التنسيق العملي، والمستمر منذ فترة غير قصيرة، إلى عقد مؤتمر دولي، خصوصاً بحضور جهات أخرى تطرح مقاربة مختلفة للعلاقة مع طهران، وتعارض بدرجة أو أخرى مقاربة واشنطن ووكلائها. يُعقد المؤتمر في سياق شرق أوسطي من سماته البارزة تزايد مخاوف الوكلاء المحليين للولايات المتحدة، إسرائيل والسعودية أساساً، مما يعنيه الانسحاب المعلن لقواتها من سوريا، وما يؤشر عليه من تراجع نسبي لأولوية الإقليم وشؤونه في جدول أعمالها. احتواء الصين وما يترتب عليه من سياسات وحشد للقوى بات يحتلّ موقع الأولوية الأولى بالنسبة إلى الإدارة الأميركية بدفع من رئيسها، على رغم معارضة تيار قوي في داخلها. تلي هذه الأولوية أيضاً أولوية أخرى وهي استعادة السيطرة على أميركا الوسطى واللاتينية، وهو ما كشفته سلسلة التطورات التي حدثت في البرازيل وفنزويلا، وتحويلها مجدداً إلى حديقة خلفية مغلقة أمام تمدد النفوذ الصيني والروسي.

لا يعني هذا التغير في جدول الأولويات فقدان الشرق الأوسط أهميته الاستراتيجية في نظر واشنطن، لكنه قد يعني، كما قال آموس هاريل كبير المعلّقين في قضايا الأمن والدفاع في «هآرتس»، أن هذه المنطقة ستكون أقل حضوراً على المستوى اليومي، وأن الحلفاء سيضطرون إلى التعامل مع تحديات متصاعدة بدرجة أكبر من الاعتماد على النفس، في بيئة إقليمية متغيرة لغير مصلحتهم. قدرة الولايات المتحدة على التحكم بشؤون العالم متراجعة وبسرعة، وما سمّاه عدد من أهم خبرائها الاستراتيجيين «الغرق» في الشرق الأوسط تم على حساب التصدي لتحديات أخطر وأكبر على موقعها كقوة مهيمنة، كالصعود الصيني وعودة روسيا إلى الساحة الدولية. لم تكن هذه القناعة بعيدة عن إعلان الرئيس الأميركي السابق، باراك أوباما، عن سياسة الاستدارة نحو آسيا، ولا حتى عن قراره التوصل إلى اتفاق مع إيران حول ملفها النووي، يكون بمثابة فكّ اشتباك، للتفرغ لمواجهة الصين.

التيار الصقوري في الإدارة الحالية بقيادة جون بولتون يحذر من مغبة قيام إيران، وحتى روسيا وتركيا، بملء الفراغ الناجم عن تراجع الدور الأميركي في الإقليم، ويدفع إلى اعتماد استراتيجية أكثر عدوانية ضد الأولى، تؤدي إلى احتواء نفوذها الإقليمي وإضعاف نظامها وزعزعة استقراره، قبل التفرغ لمناطق أخرى. ليس من المصادفة تكاثر العمليات الإرهابية التي تشنّها مجموعات انفصالية مدعومة أميركياً في إيران، وآخرها عملية وقعت خلال انعقاد مؤتمر وارسو. ستواصل الإدارة سياساتها المعادية لهذا البلد بوسائل وأدوات مختلفة، كالعقوبات الاقتصادية والحصار والضغوط، مراهنة على إمكانية النجاح في إضعاف نظامه، أو حتى التسبب بإسقاطه إن كان ذلك ممكناً. غير أنها مجبرة على مواجهة تحديات أخرى في الآن نفسه. يستدعي هذا الواقع طمأنة الحلفاء المحليين إلى أن أولويات واشنطن الراهنة لا تعني تخلّيها عنهم، وأنها تحرص على بناء جبهة عالمية للدفاع عنهم. ترامب يعي أن قراره الانسحاب من سوريا تسبّب بامتعاض شديد لدى حلفائه الإسرائيليين والسعوديين، الذين أوعزوا إلى جماعات الضغط المرتبطة بهم في أميركا بمهاجمة القرار، وهو لا يريد فقدان دعم اللوبي الصهيوني القوي وأنصار إسرائيل الكثر، لأن هدفه الأول هو تأمين شروط إعادة انتخابه لولاية ثانية. وظيفة مؤتمر وارسو من منظور إدارة ترامب هي التأكيد على أنها لن تتخلى عن التزاماتها تجاه الحلفاء مهما تغيرت الظروف.

التطبيع مع العرب كورقة انتخابية

تحكم الاعتبارات الانتخابية العديد من مواقف وقرارات بنيامين نتنياهو في الآونة الأخيرة. منطق واحد يربط بين إعلانه عن مسؤولية إسرائيل عن مئات الغارات على أهداف في سوريا، والذي أثار غضب أوساط عسكرية صهيونية رأت فيه خرقاً لسياسة الغموض البناء المتبعة حيال هذا الأمر، وإصراره على التطبيع العلني مع قادة ومسؤولين عرب، وهو السعي المحموم لكسب أصوات الإسرائيليين مع اقتراب الانتخابات. فالجهر بوجود علاقات تعاون وتنسيق مع بلدان عربية، على رغم عدم تسوية القضية الفلسطينية، يعزز ـــ من منظور نتنياهو ـــ من صدقية النهج الذي اعتمده طوال فترة حكمه أمام الرأي العام، ويثبت أنه نجح في تحقيق إنجازات كبرى على المستويين السياسي والاستراتيجي بالنسبة إلى إسرائيل، من دون تقديم أي تنازلات تذكر. همروجة وارسو فرصة لتلميع صورة رجل متهم وزوجته بعدة قضايا فساد، كفيلة بأن تقوده مباشرة إلى السجن في حال خسارته الانتخابات.

المذعورون

ممالك الخليج وإماراته قد تكون الأكثر ذعراً من إمكانية تراجع النفوذ الأميركي في الإقليم. هذا هو الدافع الأول لمسارعتها هي الأخرى إلى التطبيع المكشوف مع إسرائيل. العلاقة معها، بالإضافة إلى كونها إذعاناً لطلب من الحليف الأميركي بغية كسب المزيد من رضاه، جزء من عملية تعزيز لشراكات جديدة ضمن سياسة تحوّط استراتيجي لأنظمة تشعر بأن بقاءها مهدد عندما تتراجع الحماية الخارجية. دونالد ترامب كان محقاً عندما أكد مراراً وتكراراً أن النظام السعودي ما كان ليبقى لأيام لولا الحماية الأميركية. همروجة وارسو فرصة للظهور جنباً إلى جنب مع حلفاء أقوياء، يمنح الوقوف معهم شعوراً بالأمن والطمأنينة لعائلات حاكمة مرعوبة من المستقبل. فالمتغيرات العاصفة التي تشهدها المنطقة يصعب التنبؤ بتداعياتها عليهم.

من ملف : مؤتمر وارسو: نتنياهو يلمّ الخليجيين

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Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (07 February – 13 February)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations  (07 – 13 February 2019)

Israeli forces continue systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 07 – 13 February, 2019.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip. 2 Palestinian civilians were killed and another one succumbed to his wound in the Gaza Strip. 109 civilians, including 45 children, 5 women, 1 paramedic, and a journalist, were wounded in the Gaza Strip.

Shooting:

 

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized along the Gaza Strip borders, which witnessed the peaceful protests for the 46th week along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip. They also continued to use armed force as well during the incursions into the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed Hamza Mohamed Ishtawi (17), from al-Zaytoun neighborhood, and Hasan Eyad Shalabi (14), from Khan Yunis, while participating in the Return and Breaking Siege March, east of Gaza City and Khan Yunis. Eyewitnesses said that the civilians killed did not pose threat to the soldiers’ life and they were wounded while present in varying distances along the border fence with Israel. The civilians killed were among the peaceful demonstrators in the eastern border areas.

 

On 12 February 2019, medical sources at al-Shifa Hospital declared the death of  Hassan Nabeel Ahmad Nofal (16), from Nuseirat in the Central Gaza Strip. Hasan succumbed to wounds he sustained on Friday, 08 February 2019. It should be mentioned that he was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the head while participating in the Return and Breaking the Siege March, east of al-Bureij

 

 

Injuries in the Gaza Strip between 07-13 February 2019 According to the Governorate

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 24 13 3 0 0 0
Gaza City 30 11 1 0 0 0
Central Gaza Strip 19 8 1 0 0 3
Khan Younis 11 3 0 1 1 0
Rafah 25 10 0 0 0 1
Total 109 45 5 1 1 4

 

As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating the on-going Israeli policy to target their livelihoods.  During the reporting period, PCHR documented 8 incidents were adjacent to northern Gaza Strip Shore. As a result, a fisherman sustained minor wounds.

 

 

As part of targeting the border areas, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, opened fire 9 times at lands located in the border areas with Israel in the central of Gaza Strip and southern Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported.

 

 

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 78 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 44 Palestinians, including 8 children, in the West Bank. The Israeli forces conducted at least 8 military incursions into Jerusalem, where they arrested 2 civilians and carried out 2 demolitions. In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces conducted 1 limited incursion in eastern Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip. The owners of the demolished houses in the West Bank said that the Israeli forces confiscated large amount of money and gold from their houses and handed them a list of the confiscated items. They also ordered them to refer to the competent authorities.

 

 

Israeli Forces Continued to Create a Jewish Majority in East Jerusalem City:

 

  • As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, on 08 February 2019, Israeli forces ordered Ahmed Mahmoud ‘Abaidat to self-demolish his house and a shop under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • On 09 February 2019, Israeli forces ordered Tha’er Jamal Bkairat to self-demolish his 42-square-meter house, where 5 persons, including 3 children, live. It should be noted that Tha’er paid NIS 25,000 as fine during several years.
  • On 11 February 2019, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers in Jerusalem demolished a house belonging to Ahmed Maher Abu al-Haija in Jwaiza neighborhood, within the Municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, in al-Walja village.
  • On 12 February 2019, the Israeli authorities forced Sa’eed Sarhan, from al-Thawry neighborhood in Silwan, to self-demolish a 60-square-meter room used as a living and dining room.
  • On the same day, Israeli bulldozers demolished a 125-square-meter house belonging to Feryal Ja’abees in al-Sal’a, in al-Mokaber mount village.
  • On the same day, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers in Jerusalem demolished 2 apartments and a store belonging to Jamal Edkaik in Silwan village.

 

 

 

 

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

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against the Palestinians civilians and their property, PCHR’s fieldworkers documented during the reporting period 5 attacks carried out by Israeli settlers.

On 08 February 2019, an Israeli force accompanied with an Israeli settler namely Leor Livy, tried to raid a house belonging to Ahmed Abu Srour (70), located in the vicinity of al-‘Aroub refugee camp, west of Hebron, adjacent to the Bypass Road “60”. They claimed that the house is attached to Beit al-Baraka facility land, which a settlement association claims that it bought it from its owners in 2008.

 

On 09 February 2019, Israeli settlers threw stones at civilians’ vehicles while they were passing on al-Dalb Valley road near Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah, causing fear among civilians inside the vehicles.

On 10 February 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, who call themselves price tag group, threw stones at a house belonging to Romal Mohammed Hussain Shahour, Director of Al Haya Newspaper’s office located on the main street near Howara High School for Boys at Howara village’s northern entrance, southeast of Nablus.

On 12 February 2019, a group of Israeli settlers attacked Barakat ‘Ali Zohdy Abu Mohssen (25) in Kherbit al-Farisiyia in northern Jordan Valley. They beat and bruised him in the right hand, chest and legs before handing him to Israeli forces, who arrested his brother Loai (20), taking him to “Mkhola” settlement.

On the same day, dozens of Israeli settlers, from settlement outposts in Hebron’s Old City, carried out riots and chanted racists slogans against Palestinians on al-Shohadah Street and Tal al-Rameeda area. The settlers were under the Israeli forces’ protection.

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

 

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

 

Gaza Strip:

 On Friday, 08 February 2019, in the 46th week of the Return and Breaking Siege March, Israeli forces wounded 91 civilians, including 38 children, 2 women and a paramedic. The incidents were as follows:

  • Northern Gaza City: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 13 civilians, including 8 children. 5 of them were hit with rubber bullets and shrapnel, 5 were hit with rubber bullets and 8 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded civilians were taken via PRCS and Health Union Committee ambulances to the Indonesian Hospital and al-Awda Hospital, which belongs to Heath Union Committee.

 

  • Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators in the eastern Shuja’iyya neighborhood resulted in the killing of Hamza Mohammad Rushdy Eshtawy (17), from Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza. Hamza was hit with a live bullet, when he was 200 meters away from the border fence with Israeli, resulting in his immediate death. Furthermore, 30 civilians, including 11 children and a woman were wounded. Among the wounded civilians, 8 were hit with live bullets, 10 with rubber bullets and 12 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. 
  • Central Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting and throwing tear gas canisters at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued until 17:30, resulted in the injury of 13 civilians, including 6 children and a woman. 4 of them were hit with a live bullet and shrapnel and 9 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded civilians were taken to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, where the wounds of 3 of them were classified as serious, while the others’ wounds were classified between moderate and minor. Furthermore, several civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and many of them were taken to the hospital while the others were treated on the spot.

 

  • Khan Yunis: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators in Khuza’a village, which continued until 17:30, resulted in the killing of Hassan Eyad ‘Abed al-Fattah Shalaby (14), from Hamad Town in Khan Yunis, as he was hit with a live bullet to the chest at approximately 15:50, while he was around 150-200 meters away from the border fence with Israel. He was declared dead at the Field Medical Point. Furthermore, 10 civilians, including 3 children, were directly hit with live bullets and tear gas canisters. Among the wounded civilians, there was Jehad Ahamd Mahmoud al-Hennawy (50), a paramedic at Civil Defense, who was hit with a tear gas canister to the left leg. Moreover, an ambulance belonging to Civil Defense was directly hit with a tear gas canister.

 

  • Rafah: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators in al-Shawkah village, which continued until 17:00, resulted in the injury of 25 civilians. 3 of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, 6 with rubber bullets and 16 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. Among the wounded civilians, there were 10 children, whom their wounds were classified as serious. Furthermore, dozens of civilians, especially children and women, suffered seizures and tear gas inhalation. Many of them were taken to the Medical Point of the Camp and others to Abu Yusef al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah. 
  • At approximately 17:50 on Sunday, 10 February 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of the Return Camp, east of Abu Safia Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire and fired tear gas canisters at a group of civilians that approached the border fence. The demonstrators fired homemade sound bombs, set fire and used loudspeakers as part of evening activities of March of Return and Breaking Siege. As a result, several demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and were treated on the spot. 
  • At approximately 14:45 on Tuesday, 12 February 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, and Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, opened fire and fired sound bombs at dozens of Palestinian civilians who were at the Return camp along the border coastal, adjacent to adjacent to “Zikim”military base, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. It should be noted that this is the 23thtime for Palestinian boats to sail for Breaking the Siege. The Israeli shooting at the Palestinian demonstrators, which continued until 17:15, resulted in the injury of 10 civilians, including 5 children and 3 women. 9 of them were hit with tear gas canisters and a child was hit with a live bullet. Moreover, dozens suffered tear gas inhalation. 
  • At approximately 16:30, on Tuesday, 12 February 2019, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered in eastern al-Bureij, near the Return Camp. The demonstrators set fire to tires and tried to throw stones at the Israeli forces stationed on the top of sand berms along the border fence. The forces opened fire and fired tear gas canisters at the demonstrators, resulting in the injury of 5 demonstrators, including 2 children. 4 of the them were hit with live bullets, while the other was directly hit with a tear gas canister. The wounded civilians were taken to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, where doctors classified the wounds of 2 of them, including a child, as serious, while the wounds of the others were classified between minor and moderate. 
  • At approximately 18:00 of the same day, doctors at al-Shifa Hospital declared that Hassan Nabeel Ahmad Nofal (16), from Nuseirat in the Central Gaza Strip, succumbed to his wounds that he had on Friday, 8 February 2019. It should be mentioned that he was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the head, while participating in the March of Return and Breaking the Siege, east of al-Bureij. Meanwhile, he was taken to al-Aqsa Hospital and then taken to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza due to his serious health condition. He remained for treatment in al-Shifa Hospital ICU until he was declared dead. 
  • At approximately 17:50, on Wednesday, 13 February 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of the Return Camp, east of Abu Safia Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire and fired tear gas canisters at a group of civilians that approached the border fence. The demonstrators fired homemade sound bombs, set fire and used loudspeakers as part of evening activities of March of Return and Breaking Siege. As a result, a 31-year-old male was hit with a tear gas canister to the right leg and was taken to the Indonesian Hospital, where doctors classified his wounds as minor. Furthermore, medical staff treated several demonstrators, who suffered tear gas inhalation on the spot. 
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of al-Bureij in the Central Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at demonstrators, who were protesting there and setting fire to tires. As a result, a civilian was directly hit with a tear gas canister to his lower limbs. 
  • At approximately 19:00 on the same day, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, near the Return Camp, east of Khuza’a, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire and fired tear gas canisters at a group of civilians that approached the border fence, set fire to tires, used laser lights and fireworks as part of evening activities of March of Return and Breaking Siege. As a result, Mohammad Samy Barbakh (21), a journalist at Barq Gaza Network, was hit with a tear gas canister to the right hand and his wounds were classified as minor. It should be mentioned that Mohammad was hit with a live bullet in the 4thFriday of the Return March. Furthermore, several demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation.

 

 West Bank: 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Saturday, 09 February 2019, a group of Palestinian civilians and the Israeli activists of Combatants for Peace organized a voluntary day to plant olive seedlings in the lands threatened by confiscation in Abu Sawda Mount area, south of Beit Fajar village, south of Bethlehem. Israeli forces arrived to the location, prevented the participants to plant the seedlings, and handed then a notice to evacuate the area under the pretext that it is a closed military zone. The participants spread out in the land and started to plant the seedlings, but the Israeli forces attacked them and heavily fired tear gas canisters at them, forcing them to leave after some of them suffered tear gas inhalation.

 

  • 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:

  

 

Arrests and Incursions:

 

  • At approximately 04:00 on Sunday, 10 February 2019, Israeli forces arrested Adam Ma’moun Abu Riala (13), from al-“Aissaweya. Adam’s father said to the PCHR’s fieldworker that around 30 Israeli soldiers raided the house and arrested Adam. It should be noted that Adman was interrogated for 4 hours while he was alone in al-Maskoubya prison in occupied Jerusalem without being accompanied by anyone. Adam was released after a decision issued by the Israeli court in Jerusalem under the condition of open house arrest. 
  • On Monday, 11 February 2019, Israeli forces arrested the imam of al-Aqsa Mosque Waleed Seyam, from Silwan village, while he was leaving the mosque, taking him to an unknown destination.

 

Notices and House Demolitions:

  • On 08 February 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-Mokaber Mount village in Jerusalem and forced Ahmed Mahmoud ‘Abaidat to self-demolish his house and a shop under the pretext of non-licensing. Ahmed said that his house was built on an area of 40 square meters and was sheltering 6 persons, including 4 children. Ahmed added that the shop was built on an area of 35 square meters and used for electronic equipment. It should be noted that this was the second demolition of Ahmed’s house during the past 5 years.
  • On 09 February 2019, Israeli forces moved into Sour Baher village in Jerusalem and forced Tha’er Jamal Bkairat to self-demolish his 42-square-meter house, where 5 persons, including 3 children, live. It should be noted that Tha’er paid NIS 25,000 as fine during several years. Tha’er said that the Israeli Municipality forced him to self-demolish his house or he will pay the demolition’s expenses estimated at NIS 80,000.
  • On 11 February 2019, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers in Jerusalem demolished a house belonging to Ahmed Maher Abu al-Haija in Jwaiza neighborhood, within the Municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, in al-Walja village. Ahmed said to the PCHR’s fieldworker that his house was built on an area of 140 square meters, where his family comprised of 7 persons, including 2 female children, live.
  • On 12 February 2019, the Israeli authorities forced Sa’eed Sarhan, from al-Thawry neighborhood in Silwan, to self-demolish a 60-square-meter room used as a living and dining room attached to the house. It should be noted that Sa’ed built the room 8 years ago. Sa’eed received a demolition notice on 16 January 2019, to self-demolish his 60-squre-meter room.
  • On the same day, Israeli bulldozers demolished a 125-square-meter house belonging to Feryal Ja’abees in al-Sal’a, in al-Mokaber mount village, where 6 persons including 4 children, live. It should be noted that the house was established a year and a half ago and the family was handed the demolition notice 6 months ago. It is worth to mention that Feryal along with her sons are living now in a tent provided by PRCS.
  • On the same day, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers in Jerusalem demolished 2 apartments and a store belonging to Jamal Edkaik in Silwan village. Jamal was aiming at giving one of the prepared apartments to one of his sons to live in it after getting married while the other apartment and the store are still under construction. The two apartments built on an area of 100 square meters, while the store built on an area of 20 square meters.

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

Israeli forces continued to target the areas in the West Bank classified as C according to Oslo Accord signed by the Israeli government and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the areas located in the vicinity of settlements and route of the separation wall in order to expel them from the Palestinian residents for the sake of settlement expansion.

Israeli forces’ attacks: 

  • At approximately 03:00 on Monday, 11 February 2019, Israeli border guard officers backed by military vehicles and accompanied with 2 bulldozers moved into al-Jwaiza area in the vicinity of al-Walja village, southwest of Jerusalem, north of Bethlehem. The Israeli officers raided a house belonging to Najlaa Maher Abu al-Haija (43), where she lives with her family comprised of 7 members. They forced Najlaa and her family to leave the house claiming that there was a decision issued by the court to demolish the house under the pretext of non-licensing. After evacuating the house, the bulldozers started to demolish the 140-square-meter house. Two hours later, the Israeli force withdrew and left two rooms without demolishing them because bulldozers could not reach them. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities seized 155 dunums from the village’s lands, where two settlements were established on part of the village’s lands. The first settlements is “Har Gilo”, which was established in 1972 and shelter 365 Israeli settlers, while the second settlement was“Gilo”, which is established in 1981 and shelters 27569 Israeli settlers. Moreover, 246 dunums were confiscated for the Bypass Roads “436” confiscated in addition to 69 dumuns to the annexation wall. It should be noted that the annexation wall will isolate around 4171 behind it.  The village’s lands were classified as Area C, B, A according to Oslo Agreement. The Area B constitutes 03% while Area C constitutes 97%.

Mohamed Abu al-Haija said:

“At approximately 03:00, Israeli border guard officers raided our house after breaking the door and detained me along with my family members. They informed us that there is a decision to demolish the house. They forced us to leave the house and stand 150 meters away from it while some workers started to evacuate some of house’s contents and then the bulldozers began the demolition. On 18, October 2018, The Civil Administration handed us a house demolition notice. We submitted a request to the municipality of Jerusalem after paying NIS 20,000 in 2 instalments in order to reach the Court of First Instance to submit a petition after the demolition but the court reused our petition submitted by a lawyer during a session on 23 January 2019 so the court decided to demolish the house. “

  • At approximately 10:00 on Wednesday, 13 February 2019, Israeli force accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration, a vehicle of the Water Utility “ Markot”,  2 bulldozers, and a truck, moved into al-Msafer area, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The vehicles started to level the road sides leading to al-Msafer villages and remove pipes that provide the residential areas with water. They claimed that these pipes were set without a permission from the competent authorities. 

 

Israeli settlers’ attacks:

  • At approximately 15:00 on Friday, 08 February 2019, an Israeli force accompanied with an Israeli settler namely Leor Livy, tried to raid a house belonging to Ahmed Abu Srour (70), located in the vicinity of al-‘Aroub refugee camp, west of Hebron, adjacent to the Bypass Road “60”. They claimed that the house is attached to Beit al-Baraka facility land, which a settlement association claims that it bought it from its owners in 2008. The settlers seized the land at the beginning of July 2018 under a tight Israeli forces protection and closed it. It should be noted that the land contains an old hospital and other buildings surrounding the hospital. Moreover, Ahmed’s family members tried to prevent the settler, who wanted to take the house’ measures, from reaching them. In addition, the Israeli soldiers attacked the family members and sprayed pepper-spray at Ahmed’s son ‘Abed al-Qader (27). The soldiers attacked ‘Abed al-Qader and then arrested him, taking him to an investigation center in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem. It should be noted that at the beginning of October 2015, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published on its website that Moshe Ya’alon, Former Defense Minister of Israel, said that he decided to annex the Christian Presbyterian Church building, located adjacent to the Bypass Road “60” to become a part of settlement Gafar Etzion Complex, south of Bethlehem. It is worth to mention that al-Baraka facility has been established 70 years ago. The facility provided treatment services for Tuberculosis patients until its closure in 1983. In August 2018, Israeli settlers demolished a 50-square-meter old building, where Ahmed Ibraheem ‘Abd Rabo Samour (60), and his sister Asmahan Samour (50) live for around 40 years. Ahmed was expelled from the land, where he was working as a guard.
  • In Saturday evening, 09 February 2019, Israeli settlers threw stones at civilians’ vehicles while they were passing on al-Dalb Valley road near Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah, causing fear among civilians inside the vehicles.
  • At approximately 20:30 on Sunday, 10 February 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, who call themselves price tag group, threw stones at a house belonging to Romal Mohammed Hussain Shahour, Director of Al Haya Newspaper’s office located on the main street near Howara High School for Boys at Howara village’s northern entrance, southeast of Nablus. As a result, the windshield of Romal’s car was broken, in addition to the rear window of his brother Khaled’s car before Romal shouted at the settlers, which made them escape among olive trees surrounding the area.
  • At approximately 07:30 on Tuesday, 12 February 2019
  • At approximately 23:00 on Tuesday, 12 February 2019, dozens of Israeli settlers, from settlement outposts in Hebron’s Old City, organized a demonstration that was started from the entrance to Beit Hadassa  and then headed to al-Shohadah Street and Tal al-Rameeda area. The settlers were under the Israeli forces’ protection. The settlers chanted racist slogans calling for killing Arabs and expelling them out of their houses. Moreover, they attacked some civilians’ houses on al-Shohadah Street and heavily knocked their doors, causing fear and panic among the residents.

 

  • 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.

Fully detailed document available at the official website of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

Warsaw Summit To Advance War with Iran and Not Peace in The Middle East’

By Darko Lazar

For the architects of the inopportunely named Warsaw summit on ‘Promoting a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East’, timing is everything.

In a not-so-remarkable coincidence, the start of the two-day gathering this Wednesday was quickly followed by one of the deadliest terrorist attacks to rock Iran in years.

The Warsaw meeting has also coincided with another high-profile summit taking place further east. Iran, Turkey and Russia are meeting on Thursday in Sochi as part of an ongoing effort to stabilize Syria.

And although both summits are about the Middle East, they represent bitterly rival visions for the region’s future.

In Sochi, leaders are seeking to pacify some of the world’s deadliest warzones and broaden bilateral cooperation based on mutual interests.

Meanwhile, the guests in the Polish capital are looking to exacerbate regional tensions by building on foundations of common hostility towards Tehran and lining up behind a terrorism-fuelled anti-Iran agenda.

Some of these attendees include “Israel’s” Benyamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as well as high-ranking officials from Arab monarchies in the Gulf.

The Warsaw summit is the chosen venue for bringing them all together in what Netanyahu described as advancing the “common interest of war with Iran”.

So much for promoting ‘peace and security’ in the Middle East.

Although Netanyahu later backtracked on the comments, the summit will undoubtedly attempt to advance the rapprochement between Tel Aviv and Riyadh and possibly lay the groundwork for the official unveiling of the Trump administration’s so-called “deal of the century”.

Kushner will travel to the Gulf just days after the summit wraps up, where he is due to present the ‘economic portion’ of the deal, which presumably includes financial incentives for Palestinian factions.

Interestingly, the conference in Warsaw began less than 24 hours after Moscow hosted reconciliation talks between Palestine’s Hamas and Fatah factions.

As the talks ended, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lashed out at Trump’s “deal of the century”, warning that it “would destroy everything that has been done so far.”

Experts are convinced that the deal is ultimately designed to put the final nail in the coffin of the Palestinian struggle for an independent state – a key pillar of the Islamic Revolution – and, of course, diminish the role of the Iran-led resistance axis in Palestine.

That said, there is no shortage of challenges facing such an ambitious agenda.

For starters, the Palestinians are refusing to play ball and have ruled out any negotiations with the “biased” Trump team.

Meanwhile, the Warsaw summit is as much about those in attendance as it is about those who are staying away.

Aside from the Palestinians, the non-attendees include Qatar, Turkey, Lebanon, Russia and of course the Iranians themselves.

And then there is the European Union, which remains strongly supportive of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Since the Trump administration withdrew from the landmark agreement last May, the Europeans have repeatedly resisted Washington’s push for a confrontation with Iran.

Last month, the EU set up a financial mechanism designed to avoid US sanctions against Tehran and keep the nuclear deal afloat.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, boycotted the Warsaw event while France and Germany are dispatching junior officials.

The sheer fact that Poland – a country with no history of involvement in Mideast affairs – was chosen as the setting of the summit underscores Europe’s disproval of the agenda and the refusal of all major European capitals to host the conference.

Even the Poles have tried offering assurances to Tehran that nothing too inflammatory would emerge from the gathering.

As such, the Warsaw summit does much more to highlight differences over Iran within the Western camp than it does to isolate the Islamic Republic.

Perhaps, it was Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who offered one of the more accurate descriptions of the two-day event, calling it “dead on arrival”.

According to Zarif, many of 60 countries attending the summit informed Tehran that they were pressured into making an appearance.

“They [the Americans] used the leverage they have with various countries in order to attract more people to this conference,” Zarif explained.

Whatever the numbers, the Warsaw summit was certainly never going to do much for Mideast peace or lead to a more concerted Western effort to ‘counter’ Tehran.

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Netanyahu: Warsaw Talks with Arab States ‘Turning Point’

 February 14, 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Thursday as ‘historic’ an anti-Iran meeting in Warsaw where he is joining Arab states, saying they stood ‘united’ against Iran and voicing hope that cooperation extends to other areas.

The opening dinner Wednesday night of the two-day, US-organized conference marked “a historical turning point,” Netanyahu told reporters.

“In a room of some 60 foreign ministers representation dozens of governments, an Israeli prime minister and the foreign ministers of the leading Arab countries stood together and spoke with unusual force, clarity and unity against the common threat of the Iranian regime,” he said.

“I think this marks a change and important understanding of what threatens our future, what we need to do to secure it, and the possibility that cooperation will extend beyond security in every realm of life.”

At the opening dinner at Warsaw’s Royal Castle, officials said that Netanyahu spoke around the same table as senior officials of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Netanyahu also met one-on-one in Warsaw with Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah of Oman, where he travelled late last year.

US Vice President Mike Pence and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are both attending the conference co-hosted with Poland.

But most European powers are sending low-level representation, wary of the hawkish line on Iran by President Donald Trump who withdrew from an international accord on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Source: AFP

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Yemen’s Ansarullah Blasts FM of Mercenaries’ Gov’t for Attending Warsaw conference in Presence of Netanyahu

February 14, 2019

Ansarullah logo

Yemen’s Ansarullah movement blasted the foreign minister of the mercenaries’ government, Khaled Al-Yamani, for attending the Warsaw conference in presence of the Zionist premier Benjamin Netanyahu, considering that this comes in the context of the Zion-American schemes plotted against the region’s people.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Ansarullah stressed that the Yemenis reject all the attempts to normalize ties with the Zionist entity made by some Arab regimes at the expense of the Umma’s causes, including the Palestinian one.

Al-Yamani’s act of sitting next to Netanyahu reflects the national treachery and moral bankruptcy of the Saudi-led government in Yemen, according to the statement.

Netanyahu hailed Thursday as ‘historic’ an anti-Iran meeting in Warsaw where he is joining Arab states, saying they stood ‘united’ against Iran and voicing hope that cooperation extends to other areas.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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israel (apartheid state) and Arab nations discuss ‘common interests of war with Iran’ – Netanyahu

Israel and Arab nations discuss ‘common interests of war with Iran’ – Netanyahu

Israel and Arab nations discuss 'common interests of war with Iran' - Netanyahu

Israel and Arab countries are in talks “in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran”, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said, although the translation from Hebrew was later downgrade to mere “struggle.”

The promise of a major conflict in the Middle East was floated by the Israeli leader during his trip to Warsaw.

“From here I am going to a meeting with 60 foreign ministers and envoys of countries from around the world against Iran,” Netanyahu said as quoted by Jerusalem Post.

“What is important about this meeting – and this meeting is not in secret, because there are many of those – is that this is an open meeting with representatives of leading Arab countries, that are sitting down together with Israel in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran.”

The Israeli PM is in the Polish capital to take part in a two-day international forum on the Middle East, which starts on Wednesday. Representatives from the United States and the European Union are in attendance in addition to Netanyahu and ministers from Gulf kingdoms. The EU representation at the event however is less than impressive, with heavyweights Germany and France choosing not to send their foreign ministers.

The US delegation is headed by Vice President Mike Pence, who is accompanied by vocal Iran hawk Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and advisor. The Anti-Iranian goals of Israel and the US are apparently dominating the agenda of the forum.

“We’re trying to expand the number of nations who are engaged and have a stake in the future of a peaceful and prosperous Middle East,” Brian Hook, the State Department’s special representative for Iran, told Reuters.

Also on rt.com EU-Iran trade mechanism will be ‘good way’ to bypass US sanctions, Zarif tells RT The EU is on a shaky ground vis-a-vis Iran as it’s member Poland hosts the meeting. The Europeans are attempting to resist the push for confrontation with Iran coming from Washington, hoping to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. The Iranians still stick to the terms of the agreement even after US scrapped it under the Trump administration, but the promise of lucrative business opportunities with the EU, which was a major part of the incentive for Tehran to accept the deal, are nowhere near to materializing under the threat of American sanctions.

“Today, the Iranian people see some European countries as cunning and untrustworthy along with the criminal America. The government of the Islamic Republic must carefully preserve its boundaries with them,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned ahead of the gathering in Warsaw.

Israel and Iran are already engaged in a proxy war in Syria, where Israeli military regularly attack what they call Iranian military targets encroaching on Israel. Building on the foundation of common hostility with Iran, the Jewish state also entered cozy relations with Saudi Arabia and its Gulf supporters over the past decade.

Whether the regular exchange of threats grows into an open shooting war in the Middle East, as Netanyahu seems to be promising, is anyone’s guess.

In Hebron, israel (apartheid state) removes the last restraint on its settlers’ reign of terror

In Hebron, Israel removes the last restraint on its settlers’ reign of terror

Jewish settler terrorism in Hebron

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

You might imagine that a report by a multinational observer force documenting a 20-year reign of terror by Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers against Palestinians, in a city under occupation, would provoke condemnation from European and US politicians.

But you would be wrong. The leaking in December of the report on conditions in the city of Hebron, home to 200,000 Palestinians, barely caused a ripple.

About 40,000 separate cases of abuse had been quietly recorded since 1997 by dozens of monitors from Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Italy and Turkey. Some incidents constituted war crimes.

Exposure of the confidential report has now provided the pretext for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to expel the international observers. He shuttered their mission in Hebron this month, in apparent violation of Israel’s obligations under the 25-year-old Oslo peace accords.

Israel hopes once again to draw a veil over its violent colonisation of the heart of the West Bank’s largest Palestinian city. The process of clearing tens of thousands of inhabitants from central Hebron is already well advanced.

US aiding terror and war crimes

Any chance of rousing the international community into even minimal protest was stamped out by the US last week. It blocked a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council expressing “regret” at Israel’s decision, and on 8 December added that ending the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) was an “internal matter” for Israel.

The TIPH was established in 1997 after a diplomatic protocol split the city into two zones, controlled separately by Israel and a Palestinian Authority (PA) created by the Oslo accords.

The “temporary” in its name was a reference to the expected five-year duration of the Oslo process. The need for TIPH, most assumed, would vanish when Israel ended the occupation and a Palestinian state was built in its place.

While Oslo put the PA formally in charge of densely populated regions of the occupied territories, Israel was effectively given a free hand in Hebron to entrench its belligerent hold on Palestinian life.

Settler terror and land theft

Several hundred extremist Jewish settlers have gradually expanded their illegal enclave in the city centre, backed by more than 1,000 Israeli soldiers. Many Palestinian residents have been forced out while the rest are all but imprisoned in their homes.

TIPH faced an impossible task from the outset: to “maintain normal life” for Hebron’s Palestinians in the face of Israel’s structural violence.

Until the report was leaked, its documentation of Israel’s takeover of Hebron and the settlers’ violent attacks had remained private, shared only among the states participating in the task force.

However, the presence of observers did curb the settlers’ worst excesses, helping Palestinian children get to school unharmed and allowing their parents to venture out to work and shop. That assistance is now at an end.

Hebron has been a magnet for extremist settlers because it includes a site revered in Judaism: the reputed burial plot of Abraham, father to the three main monotheistic religions.

But to the settlers’ disgruntlement, Hebron became central to Muslim worship centuries ago, with the Ibrahimi mosque established at the site.

Israel’s policy has been gradually to prise away the Palestinians’ hold on the mosque, as well the urban space around it. Half of the building has been restricted to Jewish prayer, but in practice the entire site is under Israeli military control.

As the TIPH report notes, Palestinian Muslims must now pass through several checkpoints to reach the mosque and are subjected to invasive body searches. The muezzin’s call to prayer is regularly silenced to avoid disturbing Jews.

Faced with these pressures, according to TIPH, the number of Palestinians praying there has dropped by half over the past 15 years.

In Hebron, as at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, a Muslim holy site is treated solely as an obstacle – one that must be removed so that Israel can assert exclusive sovereignty over all of the Palestinians’ former homeland.

A forerunner of TIPH was set up in 1994, shortly after Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli army doctor, entered the Ibrahimi mosque and shot more than 150 Muslims at prayer, killing 29. Israeli soldiers aided Goldstein, inadvertently or otherwise, by barring the worshippers’ escape while they were being sprayed with bullets.

Today Hebron’s old market, once the commercial hub of the southern West Bank, is a ghost town, and Palestinians are too terrified to enter large sections of their own city.

The massacre should have provided the opportunity for Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s prime minister of the time, to banish Hebron’s settlers and ensure the Oslo process remained on track. Instead he put the Palestinian population under prolonged curfew.

That curfew never really ended. It became the basis of an apartheid policy that has endlessly indulged Jewish settlers as they harass and abuse their Palestinian neighbours.

Israel’s hope is that most will get the message and leave.

With Netanyahu in power for a decade, more settlers are moving in, driving out Palestinians. Today Hebron’s old market, once the commercial hub of the southern West Bank, is a ghost town, and Palestinians are too terrified to enter large sections of their own city.

TIPH’s report concluded that, far from guaranteeing “normal life”, Israel had made Hebron more divided and dangerous for Palestinians than ever before.

In 2016 another army medic, Elor Azaria, used his rifle to shoot in the head a prone and badly wounded Palestinian youth. Unlike Goldstein’s massacre, the incident was caught on video.

Israelis barely cared until Azaria was arrested. Then large sections of the public, joined by politicians, rallied to his cause, hailing him a hero.

Despite doing very little publicly, TIPH’s presence in Hebron had served as some kind of restraint on the settlers and soldiers. Now the fear is that there will be more Azarias.

Inciting against human rights organisations

Palestinians rightly suspect that the expulsion of the observer force is the latest move in efforts by Israel and the US to weaken mechanisms for protecting Palestinian human rights.

Netanyahu has incited against local and international human rights organisations constantly, accusing them of being foreign agents and making it ever harder for them to operate effectively.

And last year US President Donald Trump cut all aid to UNRWA, the United Nations’ refugee agency, which plays a vital role in caring for Palestinians and upholding their right to return to their former lands.

Not only are the institutions Palestinians rely on for support being dismembered but so now are the organisations that record the crimes Israel has been committing.

That, Israel hopes, will ensure that an international observer post which has long had no teeth will soon will soon lose its sight too as Israel begins a process of annexing the most prized areas of the West Bank – with Hebron top of the list

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