In Words and Deeds: The Genesis of israeli Violence

In Words and Deeds: The Genesis of Israeli Violence

Wanted Zionist terrorists in Palestine before 1948. Later, some of them became leaders of Israel. (Photo: File)

By Ramzy Baroud

Not a day passes without a prominent Israeli politician or intellectual making an outrageous statement against Palestinians. Many of these statements tend to garner little attention or evoke rightly deserved outrage.

Just recently, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, called for more death and injuries on Palestinians in Gaza.

“What is this special weapon we have that we fire and see pillars of smoke and fire, but nobody gets hurt? It is time for there to be injuries and deaths as well,” he said.

Ariel’s calling for the killing of more Palestinians came on the heels of other repugnant statements concerning a 16-year-old teenager girl, Ahed Tamimi. Ahed was arrested in a violent Israeli army raid at her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

A video recording showed her slapping an Israeli soldier a day after the Israeli army shot her cousin in the head, placing him in a coma.

Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, known for his extremist political views, demanded that Ahed and other Palestinian girls should “spend the rest of their days in prison”.

A prominent Israeli journalist, Ben Caspit, sought yet more punishment. He suggested that Ahed and girls like her should be raped in jail.

“In the case of the girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras”, he wrote in Hebrew.

 

This violent and revolting mindset, however, is not new. It is an extension of an old, entrenched belief system that is predicated on a long history of violence.

Undeniably, the views of Ariel, Bennett and Caspit are not angry statements uttered in a moment of rage. They are all reflections of real policies that have been carried out for over 70 years. Indeed, killing, raping and imprisoning for life are features that have accompanied the state of Israel since the very beginning.

This violent legacy continues to define Israel to this day, through the use of what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe describes as ‘incremental genocide.’

Throughout this long legacy, little has changed except for names and titles. The Zionist militias that orchestrated the genocide of the Palestinians prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948 merged together to form the Israeli army; and the leaders of these groups became Israel’s leaders.

Israel’s violent birth in 1947- 48 was the culmination of the violent discourse that preceded it for many years. It was the time when Zionist teachings of prior years were put into practice and the outcome was simply horrifying.

“The tactic of isolating and attacking a certain village or town and executing its population in a horrible, indiscriminate massacre was a strategy employed, time and again, by Zionist bands to compel the population of surrounding villages and towns to flee,” Ahmad Al-Haaj told me when I asked him to reflect on Israel’s past and present.

Al-Haaj is a Palestinian historian and an expert on the Nakba, the ‘Catastrophe’ that had befallen Palestinians in 1948.

The 85-year-old intellectual’s proficiency in the subject began 70 years ago, when, as a 15-year-old, he witnessed the massacre of Beit Daras at the hands of Jewish Haganah militia.

The destruction of the southern Palestinian village and the killing of dozens of its inhabitants resulted in the depopulation of many adjacent villages, including al-Sawafir, Al-Haaj’s home village.

“The notorious Deir Yasin massacre was the first example of such wanton killing, a model that was duplicated in other parts of Palestine,” Al-Haaj said.

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine at the time was orchestrated by several Zionist militias. The mainstream Jewish militia was the Haganah which belonged to the Jewish Agency.

The latter functioned as a semi-government, under the auspices of the British Mandate Government, while the Haganah served as its army.

However, other breakaway groups also operated according to their own agenda. Two leading bands amongst them were the Irgun (National Military Organization) and Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang). These groups carried out numerous terrorist attacks, including bus bombings and targeted assassinations.

Russian-born Menachem Begin was the leader of the Irgun which, along with the Stern Gang and other Jewish militants, massacred hundreds of civilians in Deir Yassin.

‘Tell the soldiers: you have made history in Israel with your attack and your conquest. Continue this until victory. As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou has chosen us for conquest,” Begin wrote at the time. He described the massacre as a “splendid act of conquest.”

The intrinsic link between words and actions remain unchanged.

Nearly 30 years later, a once wanted terrorist, Begin became Prime Minister of Israel. He accelerated land theft of the newly-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, launched a war on Lebanon, annexed Occupied Jerusalem to Israel and carried out the massacre of Sabra and Shatilla in 1982.

Some of the other terrorists-turned-politicians and top army brass include Begin, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan and Yitzhak Shamir. Each one of these leaders has a record dotted with violence.

Shamir served as the Prime Minister of Israel from 1986 – 1992. In 1941, Shamir was imprisoned by the British for his role in the Stern Gang. Later, as Prime Minister, he ordered a violent crackdown against a mostly non-violent Palestinian uprising in 1987, purposely breaking the limbs of kids accused of throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers.

So, when government ministers like Ariel and Bennett call for wanton violence against Palestinians, they are simply carrying on with a bloody legacy that has defined every single Israeli leader in the past. It is the violent mindset that continues to control the Israeli government and its relationship with Palestinians; in fact, with all of its neighbors.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His forthcoming book is ‘The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story’ (Pluto Press, London). Baroud has a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and is a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, University of California Santa Barbara. His website is http://www.ramzybaroud.net.

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PLO Official: Decision to Suspend Recognition of israel ‘Effective’

Source

PLO Official: Decision to Suspend Recognition of Israel ‘Effective’

Speaking to Quds Press, Abu-Yousef stressed that any decision taken by the PLO’s Central Council “is turned to the PLO’s Executive Committee to become effective,” Middle East Monitor reported.

“There are measures to be carried out to implement the suspension of recognising Israel,” he said, noting that Israel “does not recognise” the Palestinian state.

“As long as Israel does not recognise the Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and takes measures that undermine doing this,” the PLO official stated, underlining that “we must retract recognising the occupation state [Israel].”

The senior PLO and Fatah leader reiterated that the United States “will not have any role in any future political process.”

“The Palestinian people will continue sticking to the resistance pathway, including the peaceful resistance, which has a national consensus,” Abu-Yousef stated.

On Monday, the Palestinian Central Council called on Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to suspend recognition of Israel in response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as the Tel Aviv regime’s capital.

“The Palestinian Central Council has decided to freeze the recognition of Israel by the [Palestinian] state until [Israel] recognizes Palestine as a state… Palestine will freeze the Oslo accords, the provisions of which are not implemented by Israel, including about the coordination in the sphere of security,” Nabil Shaath, the foreign affairs adviser of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told Sputnik.

The announcement was made after Abbas said that Trump’s so-called Middle East peace efforts are the “slap of the century” after his al-Quds move.

US President announced early December 2017 that Washington would be recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital, stressing that the United States would relocate the embassy in the occupied lands from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.

The move was hailed by Israel but condemned by the rest of the international community as one which undermines the peace talks.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in a statement issued following an extraordinary summit in Turkey’s Istanbul, declared East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine “under occupation” and urged the US to withdraw from the peace process and back down from its Jerusalem decision.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) overwhelmingly passed a non-binding resolution condemning Trump’s decision and called on states not to move their diplomatic missions to the sacred city. The UNGA vote followed the US veto of a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution.

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism against Palestine (11- 17 January 2018)

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

(11- 17 January 2018)

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

(11 – 17 January 2018)

 

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt
  • 3 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were killed, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  • 112 Palestinian civilians, including 29 children, 2 journalists and a paramedic, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  • 44 of them were hit with live bullets, 54 were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets, and 14 were hit with tear gas canisters and their shrapnel.
  • 12 demonstrators were arrested, including 5 children, in the West Bank.
  • Israeli warplanes targeted a tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.
  • Israeli forces conducted 79 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one was conducted in the southern Gaza Strip.
  • 101 civilians, including 25 children and 3 women, were arrested.
  • 38 of them, including 14 children and 2 women, were arrested in Jerusalem.
  • Several shooting incidents targeting the Palestinian fishing boats occurred in the Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli authorities continued their settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • Israeli settlers started to establish a settlement road between Nablus and Qalqiliya.
  • Shooting was reported towards the border areas of the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.
  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 11th consecutive year.
  • Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.
  • 4 Palestinian civilians, including a woman, were arrested at the checkpoints in the West Bank.

 

 

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (11 – 17 January 2018).

 

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  They also wounded 112 Palestinian civilians, including 29 children, 2 journalists and a paramedic, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea and target border areas in addition to targeting tunnels by Israeli warplanes.

 

In the West Bank, On 11 January 2018, Israeli forces killed ‘Ali Qino (Qadous) (17) from ‘Iraq Burin village, south of Nablus.  The aforementioned child was killed when Israeli soldiers stationed near cement cubes established by Israeli forces in the morning on the main street of the village to close it opened fire at him.  A number of children threw stones from a distance of 150 meters at the Israeli soldiers.  The latter immediately opened fire at them, killing the abovementioned child.  Doctors in Nablus Specialist Hospital where the child was transferred said that the latter was hit with a bullet that entered his forehead and exited the left side, causing skull fracture and brain herniation

 

On 15 January 2018, in a similar crime, Israeli forces killed Ahmed Salim (24) from Jayous village, northeast of Qaqliliya.  The aforementioned was killed when he was in a peaceful protest against the U.S. President’s Decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel daily organized in al-Mentar area near the annexation wall, west of the village.  Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces fired more than 20 live bullets in a row from a distance of only 20 meters.

 

During the reporting period, the West Bank witnessed protests against the U.S. President’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. During the protests, the Israeli forces used force against the protesters, and the shooting to disperse the protests resulted in the injury of 30 civilians, including 4 children, 2 journalists and a paramedic.  Four civilians were hit with live bullets, 20 were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets, and 6 were directly hit with tear gas canisters and sound bombs shrapnel.

 

In the same context, in addition to the abovementioned wounded persons, on 15 January 2018, 7 civilians, including 3 children, were wounded when Israeli forces moved into Burqin village, west of Jenin and a number of Palestinian children and youngsters protested against the soldiers.  On 16 January 2018, Israeli forces wounded a civilian when they moved into Nablus to carry out an arrest campaign and protect hundreds of Israeli settlers who entered the city to perform their Talmudic rituals in “Josef’s Tomb.” On 17 January 2018, 28 civilians, including 12 children, were wounded; 25 were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets and 3 with sound bombs and tear gas canisters.  This happened when Israeli settlers moved into ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqiliya, and civilians confronted them.  Meanwhile, the Israeli soldiers moved into the village amidst intensive firing of sound bombs, tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets after cutting off the electricity.

 

In the Gaza Strip, in new crime of using lethal force, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip killed Amir Abu Musa’ed (15) from al-Musadder village after being shot with a bullet to the chest.  The child was killed when Israeli soldiers opened fire at 20 children and young men who were protesting on Um Hasaniyah Hill area, east of the camp, and throwing stones at the soldiers stationed behind sand barriers.

 

The border areas with Israel witnessed protests against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy to it.  During the protests, the Israeli forces used force against the protestors.  Due to opening fire to disperse the protests, 46 civilians were wounded, including 10 children.  Thirty-nine were hit with live bullets, 2 were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets, and 5 were directly with tear gas canisters at their bodies.

 

As part of the Israeli airstrikes, on 13 January 2018, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at a tunnel near Kerm Abu Salem Crossing in al-Shokah village at the border junction between Egypt, Israel and the Gaza Strip to the southeastern side of Rafah City.  However, no casualties were reported.

 

As part of targeting fishermen in the sea, on 11 January 2018, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah Shore, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. The shooting recurred in the above-mentioned area on 13 January 2018.

 

As part of targeting the border areas, on 11 January 2018, Israeli soldiers opened fire at the agricultural lands, east of Gaza Valley village near the eastern borders of the village.  The shooting recurred in the same area on 13 January 2019.  However, no casualties were reported in both incidents.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 79 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank while they conducted 10 incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 63 Palestinian civilians, including 11 children and a girl, in the West Bank.  Thirty-eight of them, including 14 children and 2 women, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs. In addition to those arrested, Israeli forces arrested 12 civilians, including 5 children, during their participation in peaceful protests. Thus, the number of arrestees amounted to 113 civilians, including 30 children and the 3 women.

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces confiscated about NIS 17,400, JD700, and $600 from a house belonging to Mo’yad Taqatqa in ‘Alar village, north of Tulkarm. They also confiscated an Opel car belonging to ‘Abdel Rahman Shtayah, from Salem village, northeast of Nablus.  Moreover, Mohammed Za’amrah’s family lost NIS2600 belonging to his wife after their house was raided and searched in al-Masyoun neighbourhood in Ramallah.

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 17 January 2018, Israeli forces moved into the eastern side of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.  They levelled and combed the lands adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the eastern side of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.  They later redeployed along the border fence.

 

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

 

Israeli Settlers’ attacks:

 

  • On 11 January 2018, a group of Israeli settler from “Gilead” settlement moved intoFare’at village, northeast of Qalqiliya, and attempted to carry out assaults for the second consecutive time. It should be noted one day before; a group of Israeli settlers attacked civilian houses in the village and threw stones at them. As a result, windows of 7 houses were broken.

 

  • On 12 January 2018, around 100 Israeli settlers from “Ariel” settlement established in the southern side of Salfit attacked a house belonging to Yousef Hasan Suliman Daraghmah, south of al-Laban village, south of Nablus.

 

  • On 13 January 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar” settlement established in the western side of Hawarah village, south of Nablus, damaged around 80 fruitful olive trees in al-Lohaf area near the abovementioned settlement.

 

  • On the same day, around 30 Israeli settlers from” Yitzhar” settlement raided a house belonging to Moneer Suliman al-Nouri, in the outskirts of ‘Oreef village, south of Nablus. The Israeli settlers set fire to an old tractor and broke windows of houses.

 

  • On the same day, Israeli settlers under the intensive protection of Israeli forces leveled lands belonging to the villages’ residents in al-Khanadeq and Khelet Abu ‘Amer Areas between the villages of Tal and Fare’ata. This reflects the clear intention of the Israeli authorities to seize vacant areas and annex them to the “Havat Gelad” settlement outpost to connect it with “Kadomim” settlement established on the lands of Kafr Qaddoum, east of Qaliqilya, in order to be an official settlement.

 

Details

 

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

 

Thursday, 11 January 2018

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands in the eastern side of Gaza Valley (Johr al-Deek) near the eastern borders of the village. However, no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 3 civilians namely Mohammed Nidal Mohammed Ghabariyah (19), Fadi Ramzi Khalil Huwail (21), and Mohammed Methqal ‘Azaizah (22).

 

  • At approximately 01:45, Israeli forces moved into Ya’bud village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Yahiya Tawfiq Abu Shamlah (43) and Majdi Ghazi al-Bari (31).

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Um al-Toot village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested ‘Alaa’ Feisal Zakarneh (23) and ‘Alaa’ Abdul Razeq Zakarneh (25).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested 5 civilians, including 2 children, namely Abdullah Khair al-Tamimi (19), Abdul Latif Abdul Fattah al-Tamimi (18), Mo’men Mahmoud al-Tamimi (16)Eyas Mahmoud al-Tamimi (17), and Mohammed Bilal al-Tamimi (18).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Beit Liqya village, southwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested Mohammed Saleh Bader (22) and Majdi Sami Mafarjah (25).

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested ‘Azzam Fawzi Hasan Abu al-‘Adas (32) from his house in al-Bibi building on Tal al-‘Aalawi Street.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into ‘Asirah village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Saif Basem Saleh (18).

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Nidal Yusuf al-‘Alami (25) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 08:35, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah shore, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire and pumped water at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (7) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Bal’a village, northeast of Tulkarm; Bedia village, northwest of Salfit; Abu al-Samen Valley area, al-Majd, Deir al-‘Asal, Emrish and Beit Awla villages in Hebron.

 

Friday, 12 January 2018

 

  • At approximately 00:40, Israeli forces moved into ‘Alar village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses belonging to Taqatqa family and then arrested 4 civilians, including a child. The soldiers then confiscated about NIS 17,400, JD 700, and $600 from a house belonging to Mo’yad Taqatqa. The Israeli officer claimed that the Israeli forces will check the money and then return it back. The arrestees were identified as Yazan Mo’yad Taqatqa (17), Nihad Ma’rouf Taqatqa (53), Eyad Ma’rouf Taqatqa (43) and his son Mohammed (20).

Hana’a Abdul Latif Taqatqa (49) said to PCHR’s fieldworker:

“At approximately 00:45 on Friday, 12 January 2018, a large Israeli force suddenly raided our house. Everyone woke up and panicked. The soldiers locked us in the living room and questioned all of us. They then investigated with each one separately and asked normal questions. The soldiers entered the bedrooms and searched them, causing damage to the furniture and breaking the closets’ doors. They then made a hole in a gypsum wall. After that, an officer approached me and said “we will start searching the bedroom, follow us there”, and I followed them. The soldiers found a bag in my closet, opened it to find money and then began to count it. I told the soldiers that the money belongs to my daughter, who works and saves her money with me. The soldiers informed me that they had to check the money. The officer then called a soldier and ordered him to record a video while counting the money. The soldiers later withdrew from the house after confiscating the money, which was NIS 17,400, JD 700 and $600. The soldiers also confiscated a laptop belonging to my daughter, who is a University student, and 5 cell phones.” 

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Mo’ath Yusuf Mohammed Raihan (30).

 

  • At approximately 10:30, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Gaza Valley (Johr al-Deek), opened fire at a number of Palestinian workers, who were collecting plastic and scraps in the landfill, east of the abovementioned village. As a result, the workers were forced to leave the area fearing for their lives, but no casualties were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Zeta village, north of Tulkarm; al-Naqurah village, northwest of Nablus; Howarah and Beta villages, south of the city.

 

Saturday 13 January 2018:

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Sa’ir village, northeast of Hebron and stationed in al-‘Aroud neighborhood. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Alaa’ Kayed al-Faroukh (28) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Yasin Mahmoud al-Shakhshir (28) from his house in Ras al-‘Ein neighborhood.

 

  • At approximately 01:45, Israeli forces moved into Zabuba village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Kamel Saleem Mahmoud Jaradat (30) and Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud Jaradat (16)

 

  • At approximately 07:50, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah shore, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

  • At approximately 22:50, Israeli warplanes launched one missile and after 5 minutes they launched another at a tunnel near Karm Abu Salem Crossing in al-Shawkah village near the border-conjunction between Egypt, Israel and the Gaza Strip, southeast of Rafah. However, no casualties were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (12) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Qifin village, northeast of Tulkarm; Zeta, al-Nazlah al-Wusta, Nazlet Abu al-Nar, al-Nazlah al-Gharbiyah, ‘Alar, Deir al-Ghusoun villages, north of the city, Shuweikah Suburb in Tulkarm; Far’ata village, east of Tulkarm; Beit Ummer, al-Shoyoukh and al-Karmel villages in Hebron.

 

Sunday, 14 January 2018:

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Yatta, south of Hebron and stationed in the market area. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to ‘Essa Mohammed ‘Ali al-‘Amour (33) and Yahiya Saleh al-‘Amour (29) and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Waqas ‘Adnan Saba’neh (26) and Abdul Rahman Jamil Najem (24).

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Ya’bud village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested Redwan Suleiman Mohammed Hamarshah (21).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 3 civilians, including a child, namely ‘Adnan Mohammed ‘Afifah (22), Mohammed Yusuf Janazrah (21) and Rani Mahmoud Hadib (16).

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Yamoun village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Islam Fou’ad Samar (25).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into ‘Asirah northern village, north of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 3 civilians, including 2 brothers, namely Mohammed (24), his brother Baha’a Sa’ed ‘Ali Yasin (22), and Abdul Rahman Hamad ‘Ali Yasin (21).

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Bethlehem and stationed in al-Mawaleh Mount area in the centre of the city. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mousa ‘Awad ‘Awad (24) and then handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of the city.

 

  • At approximately 01:10, Israeli forces moved into ‘Enabta village, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Hasan Thaher Hejazi. The soldiers confiscated the DVR of the house surveillance cameras. However, no arrests were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (7) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Tulkarm and ‘Aatil village, northeast of the city; Deir al-Ghosoun village, north of the city; Qalqiliyah and Joyous villages, northeast of the city; al-Shuyoukh village and Halhoul.

 

Monday, 15 January 2018

 

  • At approximately 00:40, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a number of houses belonging to Lewa’a ‘Ouda Nezal (16) and ‘Ali Mo’yad Sharim (18) and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Ezzah refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Abdul Razeq Badawneh (26) and Majed al-‘Ezzah (23).

 

  • At approximately 01:50, Israeli forces moved into ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Kamal Mohammed ‘Edwan (19) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested Mohammed Salah Hesham Ghunaim (16) and Mohammed Adeeb Mousa (35). The soldiers also confiscated Mohammed Mousa’s vehicle. The Israeli forces handed a summons to Mahmoud Ahmed Husain Salah (10) to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Taqou’ village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Faid Yusuf al-Sha’er (17) and Mohammed Khalid Tanouh (27).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Jericho. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Tamer Husein Barahmah (19).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved ‘Aqabah refugee camp. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Khalid Mesleh Batanjah (25).

 

  • At approximately 04:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Asakrah village, east of Bethlehm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed Khalid ‘Asakrah (17) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 17:30, forces moved into Burqin village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of shops and a petrol station on the main street in the village. The soldiers confiscated the DVR of the shops’ surveillance cameras to check them. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian youngsters gathered and threw stones at Israeli military vehicles. The Israeli forces fired live and metal bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 7 civilians, including 3 children, were wounded. One civilian was hit with a live bullet and the 6 others were hit with metal bullets. The wounded civilians were transferred to Dr. Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital in Jenin to receive medical treatment. Their wounds were classified as moderate.

 

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

 

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

 

  • At approximately 00:00, Israeli forces moved into Nablus to carry out an arrest campaign and protect hundreds of settlers, who entered the city to perform their Talmudic prayers in Joseph Tomb.” Half an hour later, dozens of buses carrying hundreds of settlers arrived at “Joseph Tomb” area in Balatet al-Balad village, east of the city. The settlers stepped out of the buses and performed their Talmudic prayers and religious rituals under an intensive protection of the Israeli forces. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and put barricades, stones and set fire to tires on the streets the settlers use. The protestors threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers and their vehicles. Clashes reached the outskirts of Balata refugee camp and ‘Asker al-Balad village. The Israeli soldiers fired live and metal bullets at them. As a result, a 20-year-old civilian was hit with 2 metal bullets to the left armpit and left leg. At approximately 04:00, the Israeli forces arrested Mustafa Mohammed Saher al-Masri (22) from his house on ‘Aman Street, and Bader Husam al-Rezah (30) from his house in al-Makhfiyah neighborhood, west of the city.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Abu Katilah neighbourhood in the western area in Hebron; Taffuh village, Beit Awla; al-Mawreq and Hadab al-Fawar villages..

 

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

 

  • At approximately 00:10, a group of Israeli settlers in 7 vehicles moved into the northern entrance to ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. Members of the Palestinian Popular Guarding Committee against Settlers’ Attacks in the village noticed that and informed the inhabitants via mosques’ loudspeakers that settlers attacked the village. After that, Dozens of civilians rushed towards the abovementioned entrance and prevented the settlers from moving forward. Meanwhile, Israeli forces moved into the village and heavily fired metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters and cut the electricity off the village. The clashes continued until approximately 04:30. As a result, 28 civilians, including 12 children, were wounded. Twenty five of them were hit with metal bullets and 3 others were hit with tear gas canisters and sound bombs to their bodies.

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Bethlehem and stationed on al-Saf Street in the center of the city. They raided and searched a house belonging to Bilal Khader Salama (24) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Salem village, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to civil engineer Abdul Rahman Nasouh Abed Shtiyah (33). The house is in the second floor in Shtiyah building on the village main street. The Israeli forces then arrested Abdul Rahman and confiscated his car.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Qusai Ayman al-Titi (17) and Ismail Maher al-Sharif (16).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Taqou’ village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 2 civilians, including a child, namely Adam Eyad al-‘Amour (17) and Mahmoud Salem al-Badan (22).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into ‘Asakrah village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested ‘Awad ‘Asakrah (24) and Mohammed ‘Asakrah (29).

 

  • At approximately 03:40, Israeli forces moved into Ramallah and stationed in al-Masyoun neighborhood. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Za’amrah (33). The soldiers broke the main door and locked the family members in one room. They also confiscated about NIS 2600 belonging to Mohammed’s wife. Meanwhile, another Israeli force raided and searched a house belonging to Amin Mahmoud Raihan (19) near Za’amrah’s house and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 04:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aydah refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 3 civilians, including a girl, namely Yasmeen Abdul Rahman Rashid Abu Sorour (20), Mo;men Ibrahim Malash (21) and As’ad Darwish (23).

 

  • At approximately 07:00, Israeli forces accompanied with 4 military bulldozers moved about 100 meters into the west of the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. They made their way from “Kissufim” military site, east of Khan Yunis. The bulldozers leveled the lands adjacent to the abovementioned border fence and then headed into the north of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip. At approximately 09:40 on the same day, the Israeli forces redeployed along the border fence.

 

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

 

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

 

Upon calls for demonstrations protesting against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s Presidential Decree to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy to it, Palestinian civilians organized protests against the decision throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As a result, 3 civilians, including 2 children, were killed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Moreover, 76 civilians, including 14 children, were wounded. 43 of them were hit with live bullets, 22 were hit with metal bullets, and 11 civilians were directly hit with tear gas canisters and sound bombs shrapnel (this number does not include the number of wounded civilians during the incursions in the West Bank.) The demonstrations were as follows:

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 15:30 on Thursday, 11 January 2018, a number of Palestinian young men gathered in al-Mentar area near the annexation wall, west of Joyous village, northeast of Qalqiliyah. The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers guarding the wall. The soldiers fired live and metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, a 15-year-old child sustained a live bullet wound to the right leg.

 

  • At approximately 16:40 on the same day, two military jeeps carrying more than 10 soldiers were stationed in al-Fawar area between ‘Iraq Burin village and Tal Wahi village in New Nablus, south of Nablus. The two jeeps were stationed near cement cubes established by the Israeli forces since the morning on the main street in the area to close it.  A number of children gathered on al-Fawar Hill around 150 meters away from the southwestern side of the cubes and threw stones at the two jeeps.  The Israeli soldiers fortified in the jeeps immediately and in response opened fire at the children, who fled to the ‘Iraq Burin village.  They then noticed that their friend; ‘Ali ‘Omer Nemer Qadous (17), was missed and returned to the area to search for him.  They then saw him lying on the ground covered in blood and breathing his last.  The children screamed, and then Jihad Yousif ‘Ali ‘Eid (28), who was driving his car out of their village to Nablus, heard them and headed to them.  The children carried the killed child and put him on the back car seat to take him to Nablus Specialist Hospital in the city.  After checking him, doctors in the hospital declared that Qadous was hit with a bullet that entered his head and left from the left side, causing him skull fracture and brain herniation.

 

  • At approximately 12:00 on Friday, 12 January 2018, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered at the northern entrance to al-Birah. The protestors threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers stationed at al-Mahkamah Checkpoint established near “Beit Eil” settlement, north of the city. The soldiers fired live and metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a 22-year-old civilian sustained a Two-Two bullet to the foot.

 

  • At approximately 12:40 on the same Friday, Palestinian civilians and International activists organized a protest in the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah near the eastern entrance to the village. When the protestors approached the entrance, Israeli forces fired live and metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a 22-year-old civilian sustained a live bullet wound to the right leg.

 

  • Following the same Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians organized a peaceful demonstration in Budrus village, west of Ramallah. The protestors threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers stationed in the vicinity of the annexation wall established on the village lands. The soldiers fired live and metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 2 civilians sustained metal bullet wounds to the lower limbs of their bodies.

 

  • Around the same time, Palestinian civilians organized a protest in front of al-Husein Ben ‘Ali Mosque in ‘Ein Sarah area in Hebron. They made their way to al-Zawiyah Gate. When the protestors approached al-Shalalah Street and the military checkpoint established at the entrance to al-Shuhada’a Street, Israeli forces fired sound bombs to disperse them. As a result, Ra’ed al-Sharif (33), a reporter at al-Ghad Channel, was hit with sound bombs shrapnel to the right foot. He received medical treatment on the spot.

 

  • Following the same Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered at the main entrance to Beta village, south of Nablus. They set fire to tires, put barricades on the street, which is near the main market, and then threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers stationed behind military vehicles. The soldiers fired live and metal bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 2 civilians, including a child, sustained metal bullet wounds. Israeli forces also arrested Kamal Labib Nasser Ma’la (20) and Karam Nasser Rushdi Ma’la (18).

 

  • Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian civilians protested near Beit Furik village checkpoint, east of Nablus. They set fire to tires and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers stationed behind military vehicles. The soldiers fired live and metal bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 2 civilians, including a child, sustained live bullet wounds.

 

  • Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian civilians organized a protest in Bilal Ben Rabah Mosque area (Rachel’s Tomb) near the northern entrance to Bethlehem. The protestors set fire to tires and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers stationed at the abovementioned entrance. The soldiers fired live and metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors and chased them. The Israeli forces arrested Hasan Faraj, Member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, Wesam Fadel Hamdan, Secretary of Fatah movement in Jab’a village, southwest of Bethlehem, and Majed al-‘Aamarin.

 

  • At approximately 16:00, a number of Palestinian youngsters gathered in the vicinity of the northern checkpoint to Qalqiliyah where Israeli soldiers stationed. The protestors threw stones at the soldiers, who immediately fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them and chased them. The Israeli forces arrested Hasan Tareq Ahmed Sabri (17).

 

  • At approximately 12:30 on Saturday, 13 January 2018, a number of Palestinian youngsters protested in the vicinity of the northern checkpoint to Qalqiliyah (Eyal crossing) and threw stones at Israeli soldiers. The soldiers fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them and chased them. The Israeli forces arrested Hasan Tareq Ahmed Sabri (17) and took him to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 13:30 on the same day, dozens of Palestinian civilians organized a peaceful demonstration in the center of al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah near the Israeli military watchtowers established on the village lands. The protestors threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers stationed at the village entrance. The soldiers fired live and metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 2 civilians, including a child, sustained metal bullet wounds to the lower limbs of their bodies.

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on the same day, a number of Palestinian youngsters protested at the annexation wall in al-Mentar area, west of Joyous village, northeast of Qalqiliyah. They threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who guard the area. The soldiers fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors and chased them. The soldiers arrested Ghassan Munther Abdul Latif Baidah (13).

 

  • At approximately 18:00 on Sunday, 14 January 2018, dozens of Palestinian civilians protested at the main entrance to al-Laban eastern village branching from Ramallah-Nablus Street. The protestors set fire to tires, put barricades on the street and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers stationed behind military vehicles. The soldiers fired live and metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a sound bomb fell on a laundry room and a store made of tin plates in a house belonging to ‘Essam Ahmed Suleiman ‘Ouwais and fire broke out. The inhabitants were able to extinguish the fire that burned large parts of the room and its contents.

 

  • At approximately 16:15 on Monday, 15 January 2018, a number of Palestinian youngsters gathered in al-Mentar area adjacent to the annexation wall, west of Jayous village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, to protest against the U.S. President’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The protestors threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who were guarding the wall.  The protestors were then surprised with the Israeli soldiers intensively firing live bullets at them; around 20 bullets in a row, according to eyewitnesses.  As a result, Ahmed ‘Abdel Jabbar Mohammed Salim (24) was hit with a bullet to the back of his head and immediately killed.  The eyewitnesses said that the Israeli soldiers opened fire at the aforementioned civilian from a distance of 20 meters.  Eyad Yousif Khaled al-Helou, who works in the Military Medical Services, declared the death of Salim immediately after his injury.  Salim’s body was transferred to Dr. Darwish Nazzal Governmental Hospital in Qalqiliyah, but the soldiers stationed at the DCO Checkpoint at the eastern entrance to the city stopped the ambulance transferring the body for 10 minutes at the checkpoint before allowing it to cross.  It should be mentioned that the Israeli forces opened fire at Salim only after 5 minutes of his arrival at the confrontations.  Moreover, the protesters were surprised with the use of live bullets as the Israeli forces daily use rubber-coated metal bullets in that area.  Furthermore, Salim was a former prisoner, who served 3 years in the Israeli jails and was released in 2016.  He was also a student in al-Quds Open University and owned a restaurant in the center of Jayous village.

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 15:30 on Thursday, 11 January 2018, around 20 Palestinian children and young men gathered in the area of Um Hasaniyeh Hill near the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of al-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip. The children and young men threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers along the border fence in protest against the U.S. President’s Declaration to recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel.  At approximately 16:30, a number of them approached 50 to 70 meters to the fence, and immediately the soldiers opened fired at them.  As a result, four of them, including 3 children, were hit with live bullets and then taken by an ambulance of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah to receive medical treatment.  Doctors at the hospital declared the death of one of the children identified as Amir ‘Abdel Hamid Mosa’ed Abu Mosa’ed (15) from al-Musader village after being shot with a bullet to the chest.  The 3 other civilians who are all from al-Bureij were a 16-year-old child wounded to the abdomen with a bullet and a 20-year-old young man wounded with a bullet to the abdomen as well. The doctors described their wounds as serious while a 17-year-old child was moderately wounded with a bullet to the left thigh.

 

  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 12 January 2018, dozens of Palestinian civilians headed to the border fence area between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khuza’a, ‘Abasan al-Kabirah and al-Jadidah villages and al-Sarij area, east of al-Qararah, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s Decree to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Clashes continued for few hours during which Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence sporadically fired live and metal bullets and tear gas canisters. As a result, 6 civilians, including a child, sustained live bullet wounds.

 

  • Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered in the vicinity of al-Sheja’eya Neighborhood, east of Gaza city, and made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel ( adjacent to former  Nahel Oz Crossing). The protestors threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 16 civilians, including 4 children, were wounded. Thirteen of them were hit with live bullets, one civilian was hit with a metal bullet and 2 civilians were hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded civilians were transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Medical sources classified their injuries as serious.

 

  • At approximately 13:30 on the same Friday, dozens of Palestinian youngsters and young men made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel in the northern Gaza Strip. They approached the security fence and set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed along the abovementioned border fence. The soldiers stationed in military watchtowers and in their vicinity at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing, northwest of Beit Hanoun, north of Buret Abu Samrah, north of the abovementioned village, fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 17 civilians, including 2 children, were wounded. Thirteen civilians were hit with live bullets, 3 civilians were hit with tear gas canister and one civilian was hit with a metal bullet. The wounded civilians were transferred via ambulances belonging to Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), Military Medical Service and the Ministry of Health to the Indonesian hospital and al-‘Awda Hospital and Beit Hanoun Governmental hospital. Medical sources classified 2 civilians’ injuries as serious and they were transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, while the other injuries were between moderate and minor. Moreover, medical crews offered first aid on the spot to dozens of civilians, who suffered tear gas inhalation.

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on the same Friday, hundreds of Palestinian youngsters and young men made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Buraij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s Degree to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The protestors set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers along the border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. The clashes continued until the afternoon. As a result, 3 civilians, including a child, sustained live bullet wounds to the lower limbs of their bodies.

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 13 January 2018, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered into the east of al-Sheja’eya Neighborhood, east of Gaza City (adjacent to former Nahel Oz Crossing). The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a civilian sustained a live bullet wound to the right foot.

 

  1. Continued closure of the oPt

 

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

 

Gaza Strip

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Movement at Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, southeast of Rafah, is designated for the movement of goods

Date Imports
Category Amount
Tons Number Liters
10 January Various goods 225
Humanitarian aid 15
Cooking gas 256670
Diesel 298852
Benzene 189450
Construction aggregates 50
Cement 37
Construction steel 17
Exporting vegetables, strawberries, fish, and Aluminum scrap 9
11 January

 

Various goods 250
Humanitarian aid 14
Cooking gas 253670
Diesel 367200
Benzene 77950
Construction aggregates 55

 

Cement 33
Construction steel 12
Exporting vegetables, strawberries, clothes. 19

 

 

  • Note:

On Sunday, 14 January 2018, Israeli authorities closed Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing for security reasons.

On Monday, 15 January 2018, Israeli authorities closed Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing for security reasons.

 

 

  • Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing, in the north of the Gaza Strip, is designated for the movement of individuals, and links the Gaza Strip with the West Bank.

 

Movement at Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing

(10-16 January 2018)

Category 10 January 11 January 12 January 13  January 14 January  15 January 16 January
Patients 48 20 1 71 50 49
Companions 38 18 64 52 47
Personal needs 32 56 32 46 88 46
Familiesof prisoners 1 12
Arabs fromIsrael 15 16 17 40 9 4
Diplomats 36
International journalists 4 4
International workers 20 58 10 27 21 14
TravelersAbroad 1 67
Business people 104 103 5 140 70 72
Business meetings
Security interviews 5 1 1
VIPs 2 4 2
Ambulances to Israel 2 3 2 3 5 7
Patients’ Companions 2 3 2 3 5 7

 

Note:

  • On Wednesday, 10 January 2018, the Israeli authorities allowed 2 persons, who work at the General Authority of Civil Affairs (GACA), and internationals to renew their permits.
  • On Wednesday, 10 January 2018, Israeli forces allowed 58 Christians; on Thursday, 11 January 2018, 88 Christians; on Friday, 12 January 2018, 33 Christians; on Sunday, 14 January 2018, 56 Christians; on Monday, 15 January 2018, 18 Christians; and on Tuesday, 16 January 2018, 58 Christians to spend Christmas holidays.

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

 

  • Hebron: Israeli forces established (15) checkpoints all over the city.

On Thursday 11 January 2018, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Taramah village and al-Fawar refugee camp.

On Saturday, 13 January 2018, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Taffouh and Sa’ir villages.

On Sunday, 14 January 2018, 4 similar checkpoints were established at the eastern entrance to Dura village, at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, at the southern entrance to Halhoul village, and on Beit ‘Aynoun village’s road.

On Monday, 15 January 2018, Israeli forces established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to Halhoul village, at the southern entrance to Yatta village, and at the entrances to Beit ‘Aynoun and Beit Ummer villages.

On Tuesday, 16 January 2018, 2 similar checkpoints were established at the entrances to Ethna and Sa’ir villages.

On Wednesday, 17 January 2018, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Bani Na’iem, al-Shayyoukh, and Beit ‘Awaa villages.

 

  • Nablus:

Following the killing of an Israeli settler by Palestinian armed persons on Tuesday, 09 January 2018, Israeli forces imposed a tightened closure on the governorate. Since that date, the Israeli forces closed Jeet – Yitzhar bypass Street, south of the city, and obstructed the civilians’ vehicles movement. They also closed Hawarah checkpoint, at the southern entrance to Nablus. Streets leading to Nablus witnessed the deployment of checkpoints at their intersections. PCHR’s fieldworker in Nablus said that Israeli forces established many checkpoints near the intersection of Dir Sharaf village, al-Taneeb Company, on Nablus-Tulkarm Road, at the intersection of al-Naqoura village, on Nablus-Jenin Street, at the entrance to Surra village on Nablus-Qalqiliyia Street, Hawarwad village’s Street connects between the north of West Bank and other governorates, and on al-Bathan Road on Nablus-Tubas Street. Moreover, the Israeli forces closed with cement cubes and sand barriers the intersection of Tal-‘Arraq Bureen villages with new Nablus neighborhood, and the main entrance to Bita village. Beit Fowreek checkpoints, east of Nablus witnessed the obstruction of Palestinian vehicles’ movement, as the checkpoint was closed for hours and re-opened. They also tightened on the civilians’ enter and exit the village via the checkpoint. Al-Hamrah checkpoint in the central Jordan Valley, east of the city, also witnessed closure.

 

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

 

On Thursday, 11 January 2018, Israeli forces established 4 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Qalqiliyia, at the entrances to ‘Azoun (2 times), ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb, and Jenasafout villages, east of the city.

At approximately 14:30 on Sunday, 14 January 2018, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the intersection of Jeet village, northeast of Qalqiliyia.

On Monday, 15 January 2018, 2 similar checkpoints were established at the eastern entrance to Qalqiliyia and at the entrance to ‘Azoun village, east of the city.

 

  • Salfit:

At approximately 22:40 on Thursday, 11 January 2018, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to al-Zawiyia village, west of Salfit.

At approximately 09:30 on Monday, 15 January 2018, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Salfit.

 

  • Tulkarm:

 

At approximately 16:50 on Thursday, 11 January 2018, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Rameen village.

At approximately 18:00, a similar checkpoint was established at the intersection of Beit Lid village, east of Tulkarm.

At approximately 07:30 on Monday, 15 January 2018, Israeli forces closed with iron gates and cement cubes the entrances to Rameen, Shofah, and Saffareen villages, which are located adjacent to the bypass road leading to “Einav” and “Avni Heivetz” settlements, southeast of Tulkarm.

 

Arrests at Military Checkpoints:

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Thursday, 11 January 2018, Israeli forces arrested Mohamed Ibrahim Talahmah (25), from al-Burj village, west of Dura, southwest of Hebron while he was near the annexation wall, west of the village.
  • At approximately 15:15 on Sunday, 14 January 2018, Israeli forces established a checkpoint near “Rafava” settlement, west of Salfit. They then arrested Mo’min Ameen Abed alHaleem Dawoud, from Hares village. At approximately 20:00, Mo’min was released and no more incidents were reported.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Monday, 15 January 2018, Israeli forces stationed at a military checkpoint at the entrance to al-Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron’s Old City, detained Ayyat Jameel Fafisha (23), under the pretext that they found a screwdriver in her bag. Half an hour later, she was released after the intervention of the village’s residents.
  • At approximately 20:10 on Monday, Israeli forces, who were patrolling on the Main Street of al-Nabi Iyyas village, east of Qalqiliyia, arrested Sakhir Mo’za Mahmoud Saleem (25), from ‘Azoun village.

 

 

 

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:

 

  • Use of force against demonstrations protesting the U.S. President’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:

 

  • Following the Friday prayer on 12 January 2018, dozens of Palestinian civilians from Abu Dis village, east of occupied Jerusalem headed to Kabsa area, which is the nearest point between Abu Dis village and occupied Jerusalem, separating between them the annexation wall. The Palestinian civilians threw stones at Israeli forces stationed in the area. The Israeli forces then fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, and tear gas canisters at them. The clashes, which continued for over 5 hours, resulted in the injury of 13 protestors, including a child, and arrest of 3 other civilians, including 2 children. Among the arrested civilians was the abovementioned wounded child. Hani Halibah, Spokesperson of the Popular Resistance Committees, said that around 7 masked Israeli undercover agents “al-Mosta’rbin” dressed like Palestinian civilians infiltrated the demonstration carrying stones. The undercover agents, who were hiding guns in their clothes, pointed their guns at the protestors and then arrested 3 of them, including 2 children. The Israeli forces moved into the area from Jerusalem through a gate in the annexation wall in order to help the undercover agents. Moreover, a drone hovering above the area took photos of the clashes erupted in the village. The arrested persons were identified as Mohamed Talal ‘Ariqat (17), Shawkat Khadir al-Shaiekh (35), and Hamza Sa’ied al-Khatib (15). Halibah added that Mohamed ‘Ariqat was hit with live bullets while arresting him. It should be noted that Mohamed’s injury and health condition were unknown.

 

  • At approximately 15:00 on Saturday, 13 January 2018, dozens of Palestinian young men organized a protest on Salah al-Deen Street in the center of occupied Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Israeli forces fired sound bombs at them and then beat them up. Eyewitnesses said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the Israeli forces surrounded protestors and then took photos of them. The Israeli forces also confiscated the Palestinian flag-printed posters with the sentence of “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine”, in addition to ripping the same posters hanged on the shops doors and Salah al-Deen Street walls. When the protestors chanted slogans for Jerusalem, the Israeli forces beat and pushed them in order to disperse them. The Israeli forces also fired sound bombs at the protestors and chased them into al-Zahraa and Saint George Streets in the city. As a result, 5 civilians were hit with sound bombs shrapnel. Among the wounded persons was Yaser Darwish, Secretary of Fatah Movement in al-‘Issawiyia village, who was hit with a rubber coated metal bullet and then arrested after chasing him for a long distance. It should be noted that journalists’ cameras captured an Israeli soldier firing a rubber coated metal bullet at Darwish from close range. The PRCS crews stated that 3 Palestinian young men were hit with sound bombs and a paramedic ‘Areen Za’aneen was hit with a sound bomb while offering first aid to a wounded person. Furthermore, among the wounded persons was cameraman Mohamed Adkidak, who sustained sound bomb shrapnel wound to the head.

 

 

  • Arrests and Incursions:

 

  • At approximately 00:00 on Thursday, 11 January 2018, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Rasheed Mohamed Rasheed (16) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 00:30, Israeli forces moved into the African Community neighborhood near al-Majles Gate in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Nasser Qaws, Director of the Prisoner’s Club in Jerusalem, and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Mukaber Mount neighborhood, south of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Khalil Abed Basheer (32) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Jouz Valley neighborhood, east of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Naser ‘Ajjaj, Advisor of Jerusalem’s Governor, and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Thawri neighborhood, south of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Abeer Ahmed Othman Ziyad (43), Member of Fatah Movement, and then arrested her along with her husband Ziyad Ziyad.

 

  • At approximately 04:00 on Thursday, Israeli forces moved into al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Mohamed al-Saiyd and Mohamed Ya’qoub al-Qawasmi (15).

 

  • Following the Friday prayer on 12 January 2018, Israeli forces arrested a Palestinian woman along with 5 worshipers, who hold U.S. passports, after getting out from al-Aqsa Mosque through al-Majles Gate in occupied Jerusalem. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces arrested 5 worshipers while getting out from al-Aqsa Mosque, confiscated their passports, and then questioned them in a Police Station. Moreover, a Palestinian woman Ameera Suliman al-Hajj Khalil (61) was arrested. Ameera said that the Israeli police released her on one condition that she will be deported from al-Aqsa Mosque for 2 weeks. She also clarified that the Israeli forces detained her while getting out of al-Aqsa Mosque and then took her to the Police Station. Ameera was accused of raising the Palestinian flag and chanting Allahu Akbar in al-Aqsa Mosque.

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Sunday, 14 January 2018, Israeli forces arrested 10 Palestinian civilians from occupied Jerusalem while welcoming a former prisoner Subaieh Mosbah Abu Subaieh, who was released from “Rimon” prison in the afternoon. Amjad Abu ‘Asab, Head of the Prisoners’ Families Committee in Jerusalem, said that the Israeli forces arrested 10 Palestinian civilians and severely beat them after stopping a bus carrying Musbah along with his family and friends at the southern entrance to the city. Amjad added that the Israeli forces arrested the former prisoner Abu Subaieh along with his uncles Tayseer, Jaber, and ‘Alaa Musbah Abu Subaieh, in addition to his cousins Ahmed and Mohamed. The Israeli forces also arrested Majed al-Ja’bah, Mohamed al-Hashlamoun, Rohi Kalghazi, and Loai Naser al-Deen. It should be noted that the former prisoner Subaieh Abu Subaieh is the son of Mosbah, who was killed on October 2016 after a shooting incident he carried out in al-Shaiekh Jarrah neighborhood, north of occupied Jerusalem. It should be noted that Mosbah Abu Subaieh’s corpse is still under the Israeli authorities’ custody.

 

  • At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 16 January 2018, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohamed ‘Ali Abu Taieh (23) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:00 on Tuesday, Israeli forces moved into al-Tour neighborhood, east of Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested 7 children identified as Na’iem Ibrahim ‘Ashair (11), Mohamed Ahmed ‘Ashair (14), ‘Ali Mohamed Abu al-Hawa (14), Sufian Firas Abu al-Hawa (14), Mohamed Sameer Abu al-Hawa (15), Ameer Sami Abu al-Hawa (16), and ‘Adnan Mousa al-Hidrah (17).

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Badow village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Abed al-Rahman Mohamed Zahran (21) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 16 January 2018, Israeli forces arrested Khalid al-Zair (34) and his son Hussain (2) while confronting the Israeli forces, who moved into al-Rababah Valley to conduct excavations and implement the tourist footbridge settlement project connecting between al-Thawri neighborhood and al-Nabi Dawoud area and passing through al-Rababah Valley. Al-Zair said that the Israeli police released him on one condition that he will not approach the Israeli authorities’ construction works in the area for 2 weeks. Al-Zair also clarified that on late Monday, he could prevent a digger and truck from entering his land, checking the soil, and conducting excavations in favor of the settlement project. When the Israeli police arrived at his land, he showed them the land papers and then they withdrew. On Tuesday, he was surprised that the Israeli police summoned him for the second time and arrested him without taking into consideration his 2-year-old child. Al-Zair added that the Israeli authorities started the excavations in an Israeli outpost in al-Rababah Valley lands a week ago in favor of the settlement project.

 

  • At approximately 02:00 on Tuesday, 16 January 2018, Israeli forces moved into al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Rohi Mo’taz al-Modaber (14), Khadir Abu Ghannam (15), Mohamed ‘Ali Abu Ghannam (15), and Mo’min Taha al-Ghalith (17).

 

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

 

 Israeli forces’ attacks

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 15 January 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Khelt al-Dabi’ area, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Mohamed ‘Ali Jaber Dababsah (30) a notice to stop construction works in a 15-square-meter agricultural room and solar power cells. The Israeli authorities also noticed Kherbit al-Mofaqarah Mosque to stop construction works under the pretext of non-licensing. On the same time, the Israeli settlers set barbed wires in Palestinian civilians’ lands in the vicinity of “Ma’on” settlement. The abovementioned lands belong to Abu Qubitah family, who live in al-Tawani village.

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 16 January 2018, a force of Israeli soldiers accompanied with Israeli vehicles and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into al-Tibah area, east of Tarqomiyia village, northwest of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Omar Ratib Thayaynah (31) a final demolition notice of a 20-square-meter agricultural room under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

  • Israeli settlers’ attacks

 

  • At approximately 16:30 on Thursday, 11 January 2018, a group of Israeli settler from “Gilead” settlement moved into Fare’atah village, northeast of Qalqiliyia, and attempted to carry out attacks in the area for the second consecutive time. It should be noted that at approximately 17:00 on Wednesday, 10 January 2018, a group of Israeli settlers attacked the residents’ houses and threw stones at them. As a result, windows of 7 houses were broken. The abovementioned houses belong to ‘Odah Kamal al-Taweel, Amjad ‘Adnan al-Taweel, Ya’qoub Mohamed Abed al-Fatah, Belal ‘Odah al-Taweel, Yaser Mohamed Yameen, and ‘Ali Mohamed ‘Ali Hussain.

 

  • At approximately 13:25 on Friday, 12 January 2018, around 100 Israeli settlers from “Ariel” settlement established in the southern side of Salfit attacked a house belonging to Yousef Hasan Suliman Daraghmah, south of al-Laban village, south of Nablus. The Israeli settlers were in an educational trip in Khan al-Ahmar area in the above-mentioned area. The Israeli settlers then broke the house windows before being confronted by the village residents.

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Saturday, 13 January 2018, Israeli settlers from “Gilead” settlement accompanied with Israeli forces started building a new settlement road around “Gilead” settlement outpost between Tal and Fer’itah villages, northeast of Qalqiliyia. The Israeli settlers under the protection of Israeli forces leveled lands in al-Khanadeq area and Khelit Abu ‘Amer. They also set tents in the area. This refers to the Israeli authorities’ clear intention to seize large areas, annex it to the “Havat Gil’ad” outpost, connect it with “Kedumim” settlement, east of Qalqiliyia, and consider it as an official settlement. The Israeli Defense Minister declared the recognition of “Havat Gil’ad” outpost and considering it as an official settlement after the killing of an Israeli settler few days ago.

 

  • At approximately 15:00 on Saturday, 13 January 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar” settlement established in the western side of Hawarah village, south of Nablus, damaged around 80 fruitful olive trees in al-Lohaf area near the abovementioned settlement. Meanwhile, the village residents gathered to confront the Israeli settlers. After that, the Israeli forces intervened to protect the Israeli settlers and returned them to the settlement. The plot of land belongs to Mowafaq Ahmed Saleem ‘Odah, Manwa ‘Odah, Hamdan Sameh Abu Shehadah, and Sabi’ Saleem ‘Odah.

 

  • At approximately 17:20 on Saturday, around 30 Israeli settlers from” Yitzhar” settlement established in the western side of ‘Oreef village, south of Nablus, raided a house belonging to Moneer Suliman al-Nouri, which is in the village outskirts from the eastern side. The Israeli settlers set fire to an old tractor and broke the house windows before confronting them by the village residents. After that, the Israeli forces intervened to secure the return of the Israeli settlers to the settlement.

 

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.

Palestinian Ahed #Tamimi to Remain in Jail During Trial

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Ahed Tamimi, 16, was arrested last month during overnight raid on her home in occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh [Ammar Awad/Reuters]
Ahed Tamimi, 16, was arrested last month during overnight raid on her home in occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh [Ammar Awad/Reuters]

Ahed Tamimi, 16, was detained last month during an overnight raid on her home in the occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh after a video of the teen slapping and hitting Israeli soldiers went viral. Shortly before, her 15-year-old cousin was severely wounded after Israeli forces shot him point-blank in the face with a rubber bullet.

Her mother, Nariman, and her 20-year-old cousin Nour were arrested soon after.

Earlier in January, Ahed was indicted on 12 charges, including alleged assault, “incitement” and past instances of stone-throwing. Nariman was also indicted on an assault charge and “incitement” for uploading the video on social media.

Nour is charged with allegedly assaulting a soldier and interfering with a soldier’s duties. However, she has since been released on bail.

Ahed’s next hearing is on January 31, the day she turns 17. Nariman and Nour’s next court session will be in February.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from the military appeals court in Israel’s Ofer detention center, Gabi Laski, Ahed and Nariman’s lawyer, said she did not know how long their trials would last. 

Two children hold up posters calling for Ahed Tamimi’s release [Jaclynn Ashly]

‘Destroy Palestinians’ childhood’

The Tamimi family are well-known activists in Nabi Saleh, and have led the village’s non-violent resistance for nearly a decade.

Bassem Tamimi, Ahed’s father, has been arrested numerous times by Israeli forces and has spent at least four years in prison. Nariman has also been detained five times before her most recent detention.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, he said that he did not expect any justice from Israel’s legal system.

“The system is set up to oppress Palestinians,” he said.

“No one will be surprised when they sentence Ahed to prison. This is Israel’s goal: destroy Palestinians’ childhood.”

According to rights groups, Palestinians face an almost 100 percent conviction rate in Israeli military courts, while a Palestinian who files a complaint with the Israeli police only has a 1.9 percent chance that the Israeli perpetrator will be convicted.

Part of Ahed’s charges reference her insulting Israeli soldiers – she has allegedly called them “child murderers,” “Nazis” and “thieves” during altercations.

These charges “highlight that these court proceedings have nothing to do with seeking justice or enforcing their laws”, Mariam Barghouti, a local journalist and activist told Al Jazeera.

“It’s about targeting a 16-year-old girl who has been vocal as Israel attempts to pacify the Palestinian population.”

Israel is the only country in the world that prosecutes children in military courts, according to the Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) rights group.

Although Ahed is facing an Israeli military court, the Israeli settlers in the illegal Halamish settlement adjacent to her home are tried in an Israeli civilian court – part of Israel’s dual legal system for Israelis and Palestinians.

“Ahed’s case is highlighting the difference between a settler youth and a Palestinian youth, and how they live under different legal realities because of their nationalities,” Laski, the lawyer, told Al Jazeera.

According to Bill Van Esveld, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, Israeli civilian courts deny bail to Israeli children in only 18 percent of cases. In contrast, Israel’s military courts refuse bail to Palestinian children in 70 percent of cases.

Barghouti noted that this disparity between the sentencing of Israelis and Palestinians was “emblematic of an apartheid state”.

But Barghouti was quick to point out that “the entire court system is a farce”, despite the disparities of sentencing. “It’s not a legitimate legal system in the first place,” she said.

According to Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 350 Palestinian minors were being held in Israeli prisons as of December. DCIP has reported that at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested and prosecuted in Israel’s military courts since 2000.

Homeless in Gaza

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 Mohamed Shuman playing music near the wreckage of his family’s house, Gaza City, June 2015

On November 11, 2017, the gray streets of Gaza suddenly turned yellow as tens of thousands of people came out to wave the flag of Fatah, the party of their former leader Yasser Arafat. This was the thirteenth anniversary of Arafat’s death, and, for the first time since 2007, when the Islamic resistance movement Hamas defeated Fatah in the bloody civil war that followed Hamas’s electoral victory the previous year, it had permitted a public commemoration of Arafat Day.

By allowing the celebration, Hamas had given the first substantial sign that it was serious about a new reconciliation deal, signed with Fatah in October. According to the agreement, the more moderate Palestinian faction, led by Mahmoud Abbas, which rules in the West Bank, would also assume local administrative control inside Gaza. With such a prospect, the people of Gaza hoped that Israel might be persuaded to lift the siege of the territory, which was meant to isolate Hamas and had the effect of punishing all Gazans for having voted for the party, which Israel, the United States, and the European Union consider a terrorist organization. Some Gazans have dared to hope the deal might even pave the way for tentative new discussions about wider peace.

A carnival atmosphere took hold across the besieged strip during the commemoration, with children selling sweets and cakes. As the crowds packed into a central square, leaders of Hamas and Fatah promised to end their division and find unity. The people cheered but seemed fearful, too: after such a long time they were once again putting battered trust in their leadership to try to bring a resolution to the conflict with Israel. An eighty-nine-year-old woman named Aisha waved her yellow flag, tears in her eyes: “I can’t breathe,” she declared, “but I can cry.”

The sudden joyous outpouring reminded some of the euphoria that erupted in 1993, after Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin, then Israel’s prime minister, signed the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn. But as Gazans know, Oslo failed to address what many of them believe was the root cause of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians: the dispossession of Palestinians during the Arab–Israeli war of 1948, during which the Jewish state was created. Oslo proposed to reverse Israel’s illegal land seizures of 1967, offering a “two-state solution,” with the Palestinian state constructed out of Gaza and the West Bank, joined by a safe passage across Israel, and East Jerusalem as its capital. But the negotiators did not address the long-standing claim of Palestinian refugees that they have a right to return home. Nowhere is that right as deeply felt as it is in Gaza, which holds the highest concentration of Palestinian refugees, many living within a few miles of their pre-1948 homes.

A slice of land just twenty-five miles long and seven miles across at its widest, the Gaza Strip sits at the southwest tip of Israel, bordered to the west by the Mediterranean, to the south by Egypt, and to the east and north by Israel. The other chunk of Palestinian territory, the West Bank, lies fifty miles away, with Israeli territory in between.

Until 1948 there was no “Gaza Strip”; the area around Gaza City was part of a much larger region of British-ruled Palestine known as the Gaza District, which contained scores of Palestinian villages. During the 1948 war a total of 750,000 Arabs fled or were expelled from all over Palestine. About 200,000 of those living in the south sought refuge in the Gaza City area, which Egypt had seized during the war.

In December 1948 the United Nations passed UN Resolution 194, stating that the Palestinians should have the right to return to their homes, but Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, refused, saying that Palestinians would “never return.” Within a few years Israel had erased almost every Arab village in the former Gaza District. “The old will die and the young will forget,” Ben-Gurion is said to have declared. The Arabs of Palestine, however, have not forgotten the events of 1948, which they refer to as the Nakba, or catastrophe, and they have been working harder in recent years than ever before to preserve the memory of their lost homes.

Ben-Gurion also expressed the hope that the refugees would move away from camps near Israel’s border and disperse into Arab countries, but while some did move away, most have stayed in order to be close to their land. The original 200,000 refugees who fled to Gaza now number up to an estimated 1.7 million. (Each descendant of a refugee is also classified by the UN as a refugee.) And with them in the Strip live another 300,000 Palestinians, indigenous to Gaza.

Today more than two million people live in Gaza, which is surrounded by walls and fences patrolled by Israeli soldiers. Israeli drones fill the skies above, its gunboats patrol the sea. On Gaza’s southern border is the Rafah crossing into Egypt, usually closed because Egypt has cooperated with Israel’s siege.

The only point of entry from Israel for human traffic is the Erez checkpoint, on Gaza’s northern border. Yet even while making that crossing it’s hard to believe anyone lives on the other side. The only other people passing through with me on a recent visit were a group of British surgeons from the charity IDEALS, their suitcases packed with prosthetic limbs.

Inside Gaza, the medieval and the modern seem to coexist, as horses and carts crowd the streets along with cars and trucks, while children in pristine uniforms pour out of schools. A new UN school is built each month in order to accommodate the population growth. In the middle-class Rimal area, students speaking into mobile phones struggle to be heard over hawkers selling wares. Shops seem well stocked, but prosperity is an illusion, since many of the luxury goods have been smuggled through tunnels from Egypt and hardly anyone can afford them. Thundering generators struggle to provide emergency power as Gaza itself struggles to survive the siege while still rebuilding after recent wars. The Israeli assault of 2014 lasted fifty-one days and killed 2,200 people, including five hundred children, as well as destroying thousands of homes, schools, water plants, and hospitals. Israel lost sixty-six soldiers and seven civilians during the conflict.

The UN says that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020. Sitting on stones by the seafront with Emad, my twenty-five-year-old Palestinian driver, we could see why: raw sewage was pouring out into the water, the electricity cuts having crippled the sewage system. Emad pointed out that the stones we were sitting on carried the names of Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948. He was sitting on Majdal, where his family came from. He looked up the coast to the swinging cranes of the thriving Israeli port city Ashkelon, built on the spot were Majdal once stood. I was sitting on a stone named Huj, a village just a few miles from Gaza. Many areas and streets in Gaza are named after villages the residents once lived in. A man Emad and I met named Ali Abu Aleish, who lives on Huj Street, produced documents showing that his family owned land that is now part of an estate constructed by Ariel Sharon, the deceased former prime minister of Israel.

In view of Gazans’ daily struggles, it seems surprising that they have time to think of the past. But it is precisely because of recent wars that memories of 1948 have been strengthened. The bombardment of Gaza in 2014 caused people to feel that a “second Nakba” was occurring. I first heard the phrase soon after that war from an old man named Abu Ibrahim, who was sitting on the pile of rubble that had recently been his home. His family had herded sheep around Beersheba for centuries, and in the war of 1948 they were forced to flee, first living in a tent, then building a house near Gaza’s border, from which they could see their old land. He showed me an urn his mother had carried on her head from Beersheba; the urn had survived the first and second Nakba, he said proudly.

Ibrahim’s reference to the second Nakba was echoed up and down Gaza. The destroyed houses, the panicked flight, the tents in which the homeless had to live—these have reminded many of what happened seventy years ago.

In the aftermath of the 1948 war, the refugee tragedy caused headlines and protests around the world, but the story soon faded from view. The Israeli government told the world that Palestinians had fled their villages of their own accord or on orders from Arab armies that wanted them out of the way. There was no obligation on Israel, therefore, to let Palestinians return, since, according to this argument, their displacement was not Israel’s responsibility. Any “infiltrators” who tried to go back were criminals, and they were shot or put in prison. With the US standing behind the new Jewish state, Palestinian accounts of 1948 were too often ignored.

In the late 1980s Israel’s so-called new historians, most notably Benny Morris, examined newly opened Israeli archives and found no evidence that the refugees had fled on orders from Arab leaders, but had done so mostly out of terror after hearing reports of massacres carried out by Israeli soldiers in villages such as Deir Yassin, where Jewish militiamen killed over 150 Palestinian civilians. Ilan Pappé, another of Israel’s new historians, went further, identifying what he called a plan of “ethnic cleansing.”

By this time, however, Israel’s official narrative of 1948 was so entrenched that the voices of these new historians were barely heeded by politicians, and in the 1990s it was considered impossible to secure Israeli support for the Palestinian right of return. Even Arafat agreed to set it aside during the Oslo talks. Today many Palestinian analysts blame Arafat, as well as Israeli and Western negotiators, for Oslo’s failure, warning that a newly unified Palestinian leadership will not remain unified for long if it doesn’t insist on addressing the right of return in any new peace talks. “During the Oslo process the right of return was relegated as if a mere irritant, not a fundamental human right,” said Ramzy Baroud, the son of a 1948 Gaza refugee, editor of The Palestine Chronicle and author of the forthcoming book The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story.* “The collapse of the peace process and the failure of Oslo brought the right of return back to the center.”

In Israel, however, where the policies of the extreme right-wing have received endorsement from Donald Trump, particularly through his stunning recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the prospects of putting a Palestinian right of return on a negotiating table seem more unlikely than ever; the mere mention of it is enough to destroy the possibility of a rapprochement. Even the dovish Yossi Beilin, an architect of Oslo, says the two-state approach remains the only option: “The right of return will never happen. All this talk of ’48 is a mood, not an opinion.”

Sarah Helm

 Palestinians posing for selfies on a pier by the Mediterranean Sea, Gaza City, March 2017

Some Palestinians agree with Beilin. “Palestinians always claimed their rights to historical Palestine,” said Ghassan Khatib, professor of politics at Birzeit University in the West Bank. “Then someone came along and convinced them that this was utopian and would not happen, offering a trade-off to go for the possible instead. Now people realize the possible and the impossible are both impossible, so they might as well stick to the impossible. But they have no strategy, no plan.”

Gaza’s own “new historians,” however, like Salman Abu Sitta, founder of the Palestine Land Society, which maps pre-war Palestine, say the prospects are not hopeless. “The conflict began in 1948, not 1967. It cannot be solved without returning to the root cause,” said Abu Sitta, who fled the Gaza District as a child. And there is a Palestinian plan, he said, which is to win back ground in the narrative war by challenging Israel’s version of the 1948 war. A form of peaceful resistance, this campaign of retrieving the facts is already well underway, he said, largely thanks to the younger generation of Palestinians.

In Gaza more than 60 percent of the population is under the age of twenty-five, and it is among the young that the deepest despair often takes root. Some are turning to radical Islam, others to drugs. As many as eighty suicides are reported in Gaza each month, according to local aid groups, many among the young. Most of Gaza’s younger generation have nevertheless remained remarkably resilient, preparing against the odds for a better future, while also making an effort to learn about their past.

Earlier this year I encountered this resilience at a Gaza girls’ school, where I met with a class of seventeen-year-olds preparing for final exams. All had plans to study further in order to become doctors, social workers, journalists, and lawyers—“anything that helps free Gaza,” as one said. I asked how many had lost family in the war, and at least ten hands shot up.

“Why did Balfour give away our land?” asked one girl, referring to the declaration made in 1917 by Arthur Balfour, then British foreign secretary, pledging to create in Palestine a Jewish homeland. “Why did the world not implement UN Resolution 194 [the Palestinian right of return]?” “Why should I be a refugee when my land is one kilometer away?”

Their teacher explained to me that schools were placing more emphasis than ever on teaching history, studying the pre-1948 villages and the Nakba, since it helped the children understand the present. “They have lived through three wars”—in 2008, 2012, and 2014. “They want to understand how this can be. Their parents don’t have answers but if they can learn their story from the beginning they can make their own minds up and find connections to the present.” The teacher herself had lost her father in the most recent war. “He survived 1948 but was killed in 2014,” she said.

Many of the young are profoundly disillusioned with Palestinian politics, openly scorning the “old men,” as they call leaders of both Hamas and Fatah who have failed to find solutions for their generation, preoccupied instead with internal squabbles. Despite the unity displayed on Arafat Day, few young Gazans believe the reconciliation agreement will hold, saying that the only way to bring Palestinians together is around the issue of 1948. “At a popular level Palestinians everywhere including citizens of Israel are resurrecting these ’48 values in response to divisions of their leadership. It is an issue that unifies everyone,” said Ramzy Baroud.

Talking of 1948 certainly unifies Gazan families as they live under siege. In Shati refugee camp, power cuts force families to sit together in the dark, often passing the time by listening to a grandparent describing life in his or her old village, which appears so much better than life today. “In summer I ran into the long grass or lay in the cool orange groves,” said Fatmeh Tarqash as her children and grandchildren listened. “In winter we built a fire and took the embers indoors for warmth.” Fatmeh’s grandchildren have nowhere to run today. In winter the asbestos-roofed homes in the camps are cold and damp, and in summer the walls sweat.

Fatmeh’s twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, who works with people whose hearing has been impaired by explosions, listened carefully, and then exclaimed: “They grew their own food. They were self-sufficient. But today we must be beggars.” She pointed angrily to a UN food box. When the electricity to the house suddenly came back on she showed me her family’s old village on Google Earth. Would she settle for a two-state solution? “No. If they give us part of the land back, they will expect us to be grateful to them. Why should we be? It’s ours.”

Gazans have a new tool in their campaign to raise awareness about their dispossession: the Internet has allowed them to bring their erased villages back to life by posting photographs of documents and land deeds. Gaza’s “new historians” are also journalists who contribute to the Electronic Intifada and other burgeoning Palestinian news sites. A young journalist, who didn’t wish to be named, films close to Gaza’s northern border and streams his footage of Gazan fishermen being monitored by Israeli gunboats as they haul in a catch. “We live in a box,” he told me. “A fake place. We want to show people what it’s really like and not rely on others to tell our story.”

New technology also allows the young to look to the future. At the Islamic University of Gaza, architecture students redesigned their ancestral villages as futuristic cities for a competition to be judged in London. One showed a Palestinian town that had been destroyed in 1948 rebuilt with skyscrapers and huge highways. A month later I saw the finalists’ drawings posted on the wall of a London art gallery, where the participants joined us from the West Bank and Gaza via Skype. Talk of construction rather than destruction was moving, but these futuristic designs for Palestine after “the return” seemed fanciful. It is unlikely that construction by Palestinians on land recognized as theirs will begin anytime soon. After all, it is Israel that is carrying out the construction by building settlements across Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Israel is increasingly intransigent about granting any land at all, even in the West Bank, where illegal settlement continues at speed, as it does in Arab East Jerusalem. Yet some new ideas for a resolution are emerging, particularly among the new generation of Palestinians who talk about a one-state solution with Jews and Arabs living as equals in a single democratic state on all of mandate Palestine. Among Israeli Jews today this prospect seems especially fanciful, but some Israeli radicals predict it must come. Ilan Pappé, speaking in Cambridge recently to launch his new book, The Biggest Prison on Earth, said that the one-state solution was “not an impossible scenario” and that the alternative is for Israel to continue developing as “an apartheid state.”

Although the concept of a one-state solution is still in its infancy, we are certain to hear more about it, precisely because the prospects for two states seem dead. The one-state idea is already being discussed within senior ranks of the moderate Palestinian Authority. Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator for Mahmoud Abbas, responding to Trump’s Jerusalem move, declared that by recognizing the city as Israel’s capital, Trump had finally killed the two-state idea, adding: “Now is the time to transform the struggle for one state with equal rights for everyone living in historical Palestine from the river to the sea.”

There is even a smartphone program called the iNakba app that provides maps indicating where Palestinian villages once were and what Israeli towns might be there now. Driving across Israel to reach Gaza, I used the app as a guide back in time, passing the site of the Palestinian village of Yibneh, which is now Yavneh. Near the huge Israeli port of Ashdod lie the remains of Isdud, where a Gazan friend of mine, Abu Hasan, once lived. On a recent visit to Gaza he told me how to find his house, but it was no longer there.

Almost all traces of the Palestinian villages have disappeared. A woman I met in Ashkelon, who had recently emigrated from Ukraine to Israel, had never heard of Majdal, which had been a thriving textile center before 1948. “There were never any Arabs here,” she told me. “It’s a lie.” The iNakba app revealed that the Arab market that still stands in Ashkelon’s Old City was once the main market of Majdal.

There are some signs that Palestinians are gaining ground in their narrative war. They have new allies inside Israel, where a small number of young Jewish Israelis are helping Palestinians excavate their history. A group called Zochrot (“remembering,” in Hebrew), a nonprofit organization formed in 2002, aims to “raise awareness of the Palestinian Nakba.” Zochrot devised the iNakba app.

Israel’s “official historians” have gone on the defensive, busying themselves with reclassifying sensitive historical files, held in Israeli archives, relating to 1948. Benny Morris found that among the reclassified files were those relating to the massacre at Deir Yassin. Morris first saw the documents in the 1980s, but said that “the Defense Ministry offered no explanation” for why they have been reclassified.

Whatever small gains the Palestinians are making in their narrative war, however, they are under no illusion about the monumental task they face if their objectives are ever to be achieved. At a café in Gaza, the author Dr. Mohammed Bugi expressed skepticism. “We need a new Mandela,” said Bugi, recently banned from traveling to Amman to promote his new book on pre-1948 Yibneh. “And a new de Klerk,” said Fayez Sersawi, an artist whose studio was bombed in 2014. “Now they are trying to crush our culture and shut our history down. The Nakba has never stopped. The patterns just repeat themselves.”

At Rafah, a border town on Gaza’s southern tip, the repeated patterns of the conflict are highly visible. Camps here are named after the old villages—Yibneh, Isdud, and Huj—and have been regularly bombed in recent times, just as the villages were in 1948. Rafah’s streets are full of posters of martyrs; its camps have always produced the most determined resisters, including suicide bombers. Many of them—including some who were responsible for the carnage across Israel during the Second Intifada, which erupted in 2000 in the despair that followed Oslo’s collapse—were descendants of those who arrived in 1948.

Close to the Egyptian border, where the Sinai sands sweep into Gaza, small plastic shelters cover openings of tunnels being dug into Egypt, though in recent months Israel has begun working on a new underground wall, sunk deep into the desert, to block off such tunnels. Nearby on Rafah’s beach is a jumble of shacks, home to fishermen, descendants of villagers from Jura, once a thriving fishing community just up the coast. History is about to repeat itself for the people of Jura whose refugee dwellings lie in the path of bulldozers clearing the area to create a wider buffer zone.

Most residents of Rafah, so exposed here on the border, have suffered too much as a result of the conflict to wave flags for Arafat or anyone else. Those I spoke to did not express hope for the near future, often saying in chilling terms that “something worse than the Nakba” is about to happen. And yet they also know that in Gaza a change of mood—too easily dismissed by Yossi Beilin—can be the harbinger of change. When the mood in Gaza changed in 1987, it led to the First Intifada, which in turn led to the first moves toward peace negotiations.

Even in Rafah the renewed attention being given to the Nakba has also spread a kind of confidence, a sense that one day the refugees’ story will be known and the injustice they have suffered recognized. The very fact that evidence of the Nakba is now preserved online, the history now already widely available, has contributed to this confidence.

While in Rafah I visited my friend Abu Hasan, whose erased village I had searched for on my drive to Gaza, and I told him I’d failed to find his house. He was not surprised, but expressed the view that the Nakba would not be forgotten. He had just completed his own history of his village. “How can our Nakba—our catastrophe—be forgotten? For us it continues every day,” he said. “What would you think if you were told you had to leave your home one day and suddenly abandon everything you’d ever loved and known and never go back. Would you forget?”

Was he still expecting to go back to Isdud? “I go back every night. In my dreams I go back and play among the trees and chase the birds. Perhaps I won’t go back myself. I’m very old. And Isdud won’t be like I knew it. But Palestinians will go back one day, I’m sure.”

The Fiction of the Jewish History in Palestine

The Fiction of the Jewish History in Palestine

By Hasan Afif El-Hasan | The Palestine Chronicle
The Fiction of the Jewish History in Palestine – Palestine Chronicle |

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told NNC Pierce Morgan on March 18, 2011 that he might agree to a Palestinian state through negotiations. And he added, “We will make territorial concessions although it is very painful to do that in our ancestral land.” Netanyahu was not talking about Poland where his ancestors lived. He was talking about Palestine where generations of its indigenous population ancestors lived, cultivated the land and are buried.

By the end of the nineteenth century, Zionism created a new Jewish identity of blood and soil. To mobilize their followers and supporters and appeal to their emotions, the Zionists created myths. Zionism started as a tribal religion without god, but in order to fulfill its function as a unifying force, Zionism required external religious and race symbols, not inner content. Its leaders regarded metaphysical religious belief and purity of race as having value in itself. They created a divine paradisiacal state of merger with the gods. Despite his non-religious ideology, Herzl’s writings were replete with religious references. The Jews should settle in Palestine because, in his words, “the Temple will be visible from long distance, for it is only our ancient faith that has kept us together”.

The Zionists and their supporters have invested tremendous financial and scholarly resources to work within the Hebrew Bible historical narratives to affirm the links between the intrusive Zionist population and the ancient Israelite past, and by doing so assert the right of that population to the land. The political end-game shaped the investigation and the outcome. Tracing the roots of Israel’s ethnic state in biblical antiquity is effectively to silence the indigenous Palestinian claim to the past and therefore to the land. The Biblical scholarship employs a bewildering array of terms for the region: “the Holy Land”, “the Land of the Bible”, “Eretz Israel”, “the Land of Israel”, or “Judah and Samaria.” To the casual reader these names appear interchangeable, but they all imply connection to ancient Israel.

Biblical narratives or poems that cannot be supported by archeology and common sense are treated by the Zionists and their supporters as historical language. Historians have to differentiate between biblical myths and the history of real people living in real places and real time. They should have the intellectual courage to challenge any source including the “revealed truth” of higher order as presented in Biblical text if it is used to justify injustice and cruelty by one people against another. Gamla, an ethnic cleansing advocacy group founded by former Israeli military officers, Knesset members and settler activists publishes detailed plans for how to carry out the “complete elimination of the Arab demographic threat to Israel” by forcibly expelling all Palestinians and demolishing their towns and villages. This, the plan argued is “the only possible solution” to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and it is “substantiated by the Torah.” Biblical studies have focused on inventing “Ancient Israel” while ignoring the reality of Palestinian history over thousands of years. Many historic experiences related to the ancient Israelite conquest and settlement of Palestine were described in terms of divine acts with religious zeal.

Many scholars, mostly moderate Jewish, who give primacy to archaeology, relegate the biblical text to a secondary place as a historical source. On 2001 Passover, Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Westwood, Los Angeles told his congregation: “The truth is that virtually every archaeologist who has investigated the story of the Exodus [from Egypt], with very few exceptions, agrees that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way it happened, if it happened at all.” He based his conclusions on the fact that no archeological findings have produced evidence of the Jews wandering the Sinai Desert for forty years, and the excavations in Palestine show settlement patterns different from the Biblical account of a sudden influx of Jews from Egypt.

Nadva Na’aman of Tel Aviv University wrote, “The comprehensive conquest saga in the book of Jashua is a fictive literary composition aimed at presenting the occupation of the entire Land of Israel, initiated and guided by the Lord and carried out by the twelve tribes under Jashua.”  Jashua, the man, was according to the Bible the right-hand man of Moses. After Moses death and the ancient Israelites camping near Jericho, Jashua commenced the military campaigns that, according to the biblical account, culminate in the conquest of the heartland of Palestine where he carried out a systematic campaign against the civilians of Canaan that amounts to genocide.

The historian Giovanni Garbini argues that “we should not even try to write a modern critical history of Israel largely on the basis of a single amalgamated, culturally self-serving, and essentially private version of history [the Bible]?”

Professor William Dever of the University of Arizona writes about the Hebrew Bible that “Many of the biblical stories are legend-like and abound with miraculous and fantastic elements that strain the credulity of almost any modern reader of any religious persuasion. All these factors have contributed to the rise of doubts about the Bible’s trustworthiness.”

In July of 2000, the New York Times ran a lead story under the title, “The Bible, as History, Flunks New Archaeological Tests.” Questioning the biblical stories of the Exodus and Conquest that recounts in lavish and dramatic detail of the ancient Israelites exodus from Egypt and establishing themselves in Palestine, calls into question the Zionists’ rationale for Jewish claims to Palestine.

The American archaeologist and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor, Joseph Callaways wrote in 1985 when he discovered that the city of Ai that is described in the Bible did not exist: “For many years, the primary source for the understanding of the settlement of the first Israelites was the Hebrew Bible, but every reconstruction based upon the biblical traditions has floundered on the evidence from archeological remains.”

The Bible and the claim of the Jews as a distinct race have been used as a tool to cement the inner unity of the Zionist movement and an indispensable weapon in the struggle for claiming the land of Palestine. The religio-historical element as a focus of national identity had greater importance in Zionism than in other national movements. It was religion in the broadest sense, with all its national and historical connotations, that provided the justification for the conquest of Palestine and legitimization of Jews’ return.

Although Semitic originally referred to certain languages and peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean that included not only Jews but also Palestinians, Assyrians, Babylonians and Phoenicians, claim of hostility only toward Jews is generally known as anti-Semitism.

Jews are a religious body, not a separate biological human group. The history of the Jews reveals that they have always interbred with non-Jews and many non-Jews have become Jews. The only valid criterion for determining membership in the group is confessional.

By insisting that a cultural trait, Jewishness, is inherited, the self-proclaimed Jews have contributed to the idea that they belong to an exclusive family, a distinct race, and a chosen people. Under Israel’s “Law of Return” of Jews to Israel, Ethiopian Jews (Falashas) were verified as descendants of an ancient Israelite tribe by testing samples of their males DNA Y-Chromosome. The claim of identifying the Jewish DNA is the pinnacle of charlatan science, an ideology driven hoax!

There was no written history prior to 3,200 B.C. (Before Christ) on Palestine, but archeological excavations suggest the existence of people living in Palestine as early as 8000 B.C. As far as the period of pre-pottery stone-age between 8000 and 5000 B.C, Palestine and Syria were inhabited by farmers and hunters. Their progression from simpler to more complex culture was evidenced in the development of farming technique, the domestication of animals and the establishment of towns.

Ancient Canaanites ruled all Palestine and Jordan until around 1200 B.C, when the Philistines conquered the southern coastal area. Archaeologists found evidence that Canaan migrant tribes settled Palestine and Jordan in the later period of the fourth millennium B.C. Pottery containing offerings in graves suggest the Canaanites believed in after-life. The Canaanite known history coincided with the Early Bronze Age that began around 3200B.C, but some of their settlements have been dated as old as 7000 B.C.

The indigenous Palestinians, the legitimate owners of the land, are the descendants of Ancient Canaanites, Philistinians, ancient Hebrews, Assyrians, ancient Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Muslims, Christian crusaders and Turks. The groups that lived in Palestine fought, interacted and collaborated, but no group was obliterated.

Modern historians, writers and statesmen should liberate themselves from the biblical myths when reviewing history even if they believe in a revealed truth in their private lives. The challenge for them is to sort out fact from fiction. Palestine belongs to its indigenous population not the hordes of foreign settlers.

– Hasan Afif El-Hasan is a political analyst. His latest book, Is The Two-State Solution Already Dead? (Algora Publishing, New York).

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Five Family Members, Illegally Confiscate (Steal) Cash, Near Nablus

Source

12 Jan  11:43 AM

Israeli soldiers invaded, on Friday at dawn, ‘Allar town, north of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, searched and ransacked homes, and abducted five Palestinians from the same family, in addition to illegally confiscating cash and assaulting many residents.

Moayyad Taqatqa, a father of one of the abducted Palestinians, said dozens of soldiers stormed and violently searched his home, causing property damage, before abducting his child, Yazan, 17, and illegally confiscated 17.400 Shekels, 750 Jordanian Dinars and 600 US Dollars.

Moayyad added that the soldiers also stormed and ransacked the surrounding homes of his brothers, and assaulted his nephew, a former political prisoner, identified as Arafat Nizar Taqatqa, causing a fracture in one of his arms, before he was rushed to Thabet Thabet Hospital, in nearby Tulkarem, city.

The soldiers also smashed the windows of his car, and stole spare parts, before abducting his brother, Eyad Taqatqa, 40, his son Mohammad Eyad Taqatqa, 20, in addition to Nihad Ma’rouf Taqatqa, 52, and Ma’rouf Nizar Taqatqa, 36.

It is worth mentioning that the soldiers also invaded the western area of Nablus city, and fired dozens of gas bombs and concussion grenades at locals, protesting the attack.

The soldiers also fired live rounds, and concussion grenades, during an invasion near the new building of the Najah National Universality, in addition to invading Rafidia area.

Media sources said the soldiers confiscated surveillance equipment from many stores in Rafidia.

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