How Gulf states became business partners in Israel’s occupation

Jonathan Cook

14 December 2020 12:29 UTC | 

Since signing the Abraham Accords, the UAE and Bahrain have been actively colluding with Israel’s settler movement and military authorities

The professed rationale for the recent Abraham Accords, so-called “peace deals” signed with Israel by the UAE and Bahrain, was to stymie Israeli efforts to annex swaths of the West Bank. 

The aim was supposedly to neutralise another “peace” plan – one issued early this year by US President Donald Trump’s administration – that approved Israel’s annexation of large areas of the West Bank dominated by illegal Jewish settlements. 

In practice, both have quickly jettisoned any pretence that Palestinians will benefit from these deals

The two Gulf states trumpeted the fact that, in signing the accords in September, they had effectively scotched that move, thereby salvaging hopes of a future Palestinian state. Few observers entirely bought the official story – not least because Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that annexation had only been put on temporary hold

The real purpose of the Abraham Accords appeared less about saving Palestinians than allowing Gulf states to go public with, and expand, their existing ties to Israel. Regional intelligence could now be shared more easily, especially on Iran, and the Gulf would gain access to Israeli hi-tech and US military technology and weapons systems. 

Separately, Sudan was induced to sign the accords after promises it would be removed from Washington’s list of “terror-supporting” states, opening the door to debt relief and aid. And last week, Morocco became the fourth Arab state to initiate formal relations with Israel after the Trump administration agreed to recognise its occupation of Western Sahara.

Twisting more arms

Israel, in return, has been able to begin “normalising” with an important bloc of Arab states – all without offering any meaningful concessions on the Palestinian issue.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia are also reported to have been considering doing their own deals with Israel. Jared Kushner, Trump’s Middle East adviser, visited the region this month in what was widely assumed to be a bid to twist arms. UAE-Israel deal: Abraham accord or Israeli colonialism?

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Riyadh’s hesitation, however, appears to have increased after Trump lost last month’s US presidential election to Joe Biden. 

Last week, during an online conference held in Bahrain and attended by Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, a former senior Saudi government official, Turki al-Faisal al-Saud, launched a blistering verbal attack on Israel, saying it jailed Palestinians in “concentration camps” and had built an “apartheid wall”. It was unclear whether he was speaking in more than a personal capacity.

While the covert purpose of the Abraham Accords was difficult to obscure, the stated aim – of aiding Palestinians by preventing Israel’s annexation of the West Bank – was still seen as a vital tool for the UAE and Bahrian to sell these agreements back home.

But in practice, both have quickly jettisoned any pretence that Palestinians will benefit from these deals. Not only that, but already they barely bother to conceal the fact that they are actively and tangibly colluding with Israel to harm Palestinians – by bolstering Israel’s illegal settlements and subsidising its military regime of occupation. 

Trade with settlements

Bahrain demonstrated this month how indifferent it is to the negative impacts on Palestinians. On a visit to Israel, the country’s trade minister, Zayed bin Rashid al-Zayani, said Bahrain was open to importing products from Israel wherever they were manufactured. “We have no issue with labelling or origin,” he said

The comment suggested that Manama was ready to become a gateway for Israel to export settlement products to the rest of the Arab world, helping to bolster the settlements’ legitimacy and economic viability. Bahrain’s trade policy with Israel would then be even laxer than that of the European Union, a top trade partner for Israel. The EU’s feeble guidelines recommend the labelling of settlement products. 

An illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank is pictured on 19 November 2019 (AFP)
An illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank is pictured on 19 November 2019 (AFP)

After wide reporting of Zayani’s comments, Bahrain’s state news agency issued a statement shortly afterwards saying he had been “misinterpreted”, and that there would be no import of settlement goods. But it is hard not to interpret the remarks as indicating that behind the scenes, Bahrain is only too willing to collude in Israel’s refusal to distinguish between products from Israel and those made in the settlements.

That this is the trading basis of the Abraham Accords is further highlighted by reports that the UAE is already welcoming business with Israel’s illegal settlements. An Israeli winery, using grapes grown on the Golan Heights, a large plateau of Syrian territory seized by Israel in 1967 and illegally annexed in 1981, has reportedly started exporting to the UAE, which has liberalised its alcohol laws for non-citizens.

This is a fruitful turn of events for Israel’s 500,000 settlers in the occupied West Bank. They have lost no time touting for business, with the first delegation arriving in Dubai last month hoping to tap new markets in the Arab world via the UAE. Last week a settler delegation reportedly returned to Dubai to sign an agreement with a UAE company to import settlement goods, including alcohol, honey, olive oil, and sesame paste.

New low-point 

This marks a new low-point in the shift by Arab states away from their original position that Israel was a colonial implant in the region, sponsored by the West, and that there could be no “normalisation” – or normal relations – with it. 

In 2002, Saudi Arabia launched the Arab Peace Initiative, which offered Israel full diplomatic relations in return for ending the occupation. But Gulf states are now not only normalising with Israel when the occupation is actually intensifying; they are normalising with the occupation itself – as well as its bastard progeny, the settlements. 

The peace deals with the UAE and Bahrain will help the settlements entrench further, assisting Israel’s longstanding policy of annexing the West Bank in all but name

Israel has built more than 250 settlements across a vast expanse of occupied Palestinian territory – 62 percent of the West Bank, referred to as Area C under the Oslo Accords. This area was supposed to be gradually transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA), the government-in-waiting under Mahmoud Abbas, to become the territorial backbone of a Palestinian state. 

Instead, over the past quarter of a century, Israel has used its supposedly temporary control over Area C to rapidly expand the settlements, stealing vital land and resources. These colonies have been highly integrated into Israel, with settler roads criss-crossing the occupied West Bank and tightly limiting Palestinian movement.

The peace deals with the UAE and Bahrain will help the settlements entrench further, assisting Israel’s longstanding policy of annexing the West Bank in all but name, through the creation of facts on the ground – the very outcome the Abraham Accords claimed they were meant to prevent. 

Yossi Dagan, head of the West Bank regional council that visited Dubai last month, declared that there was “no contradiction between our demand to impose sovereignty [annex large parts of the West Bank] and the strengthening of commercial and industrial ties” with the Gulf. 

Al-Aqsa dividend

In other words, settlers see the Abraham Accords as a business opportunity to expand their footprint in the occupied West Bank, not an obstacle. The likely gains for the settlers will include tourism, too, as visitors from the Gulf are expected to flock to al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem. 

The irony is that, because of Israel’s physical seizure of areas around the Islamic holy site and its control over access, Gulf Arabs will have far greater rights at al-Aqsa than the majority of Palestinians, who cannot reach it.

Jordan, which has long been the custodian of al-Aqsa, justifiably fears that Saudi Arabia may use a future accord with Israel to muscle its way into taking charge of the Jerusalem holy site, adding it to its guardianship of Mecca and Medina. 

Palestinians gather at al-Aqsa Mosque compound in June 2018 (AFP)
Palestinians gather at al-Aqsa Mosque compound in June 2018 (AFP)

In occupied Jerusalem, Palestinians are deprived of the chance to develop their own housing, let alone infrastructure to cope with the business opportunities provided by the arrival of wealthy Gulf Arabs. That should leave Israel and its settler population – rather than Palestinians – well-placed to reap the dividends from any new tourism ventures.

In a supreme irony, a member of the Abu Dhabi ruling family has bought a major stake in the Beitar Jerusalem football team, whose supporters are fiercely anti-Arab and back the takeover of East Jerusalem by settlers. 

Palestinian laboratories

During his visit, Bahrain’s Zayani observed that, as his country geared up for flights to and from Israel next month: “We are fascinated by how integrated IT and the innovation sector in Israel has been embedded in every facet of life.” Israel-UAE deal: The Emiratis are now under Israel’s thumb

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But Israel’s technology sector is “embedded in every facet of life” only because Israel treats the occupied Palestinian territories as a laboratory. Tests are conducted there on how best to surveil Palestinians, physically limit their movement and freedoms, and collect their biometric data

The hi-tech firms carrying out these experiments may be formally headquartered inside Israel, but they work and profit from their activities in the occupied territories. They are a vast complex of settlement businesses in their own right.

This is why Nabil Shaath, an aide to Abbas, observed of the Gulf’s burgeoning ties with Israel that it was “painful to witness Arab cooperation with one of the worst manifestations of aggression against the Palestinian people, which is the Israeli settlements on our land”. 

Settler ally

How enthusiastically the UAE and Bahrain are getting into the occupation business, and preparing to subsidise its worst features, is highlighted by the Abraham Fund, set up by the US in October. It is a vehicle for Gulf states and Israel to secure billions of dollars in private investment to underpin their new diplomatic relations. 

Again, the official story has glossed over the reality. According to statements from the main parties, the fund is intended to raise at least $3bn to bolster regional economic cooperation and development initiatives.

If the oil-rich Gulf states help pick up the tab, they will incentivise Israel to stay put and steal yet more Palestinian land and resources

The UAE’s minister of state, Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, has said: “The initiative can be a source of economic and technological strength for the region, while simultaneously improving the lives of those who need the most support.”

The fund is supposed to help Palestinians, as one of those groups most in need of support. But again, the main parties are not playing straight. The deception is revealed by the Trump administration’s selection of who is to head the Abraham Fund, one of its last appointments before the handover to Biden. 

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the fund will be overseen by Aryeh Lightstone, a fervently right-wing rabbi and ally of Israel’s settler community. Lightstone is a senior adviser to David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel who has his own strong ties to the settlements. Friedman pushed aggressively for the US to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem. Trump finally did so in May 2018, breaking an international consensus against locating diplomatic missions in Jerusalem. 

Checkpoint upgrade

The political priorities of Lightstone are evident in one of the Abraham Fund’s first declared projects: to “modernise” Israeli checkpoints across the occupied West Bank. 

The checkpoint upgrade is being hailed by US officials as designed to benefit Palestinians. It will speed up their passage as they try to move around the occupied West Bank, and as those with permits enter Israel or the settlements to work. One senior Trump administration official promised checkpoint delays that currently keep Palestinians waiting for many hours could be dramatically cut: “If I can upgrade that, which doesn’t cost a lot of money, and have it take 30 seconds, I am blowing up [freeing up] 400,000 work hours a day.”

There are many glaring problems with this approach – not least that under international law, belligerent military occupations such as Israel’s must be temporary in nature. Israel’s occupation has endured for more than five decades already. 

Palestinians make their way through a checkpoint north of Hebron on 4 October (AFP)
Palestinians make their way through a checkpoint north of Hebron on 4 October (AFP)

Efforts to make the occupation even more permanent – by improving and refining its infrastructure, such as through upgrades to create airport-style checkpoints – is in clear breach of international law. Now the Gulf will be intimately involved in subsidising these violations.

Further, the idea that the Abraham Fund’s checkpoint upgrade is assisting Palestinians – “those who most need support” – or developing their economy is patently ridiculous. The fund is exclusively helping Israel, a robust first-world economy, which is supposed to shoulder the costs of its military rule over Palestinians. 

The Abraham Fund’s planned checkpoint upgrade is actually a subsidy by the Gulf to the settlements

The economic costs of occupation are one of the few tangible pressures on Israel to withdraw from the territories and allow Palestinians sovereignty. If the oil-rich Gulf states help pick up the tab, they will incentivise Israel to stay put and steal yet more Palestinian land and resources.

Indeed, the hours being freed up, even assuming that is what actually happens, are unlikely to help the Palestinian economy or bring financial benefits to the Palestinian labourers Israel has made dependent on its economy through the lengthy occupation. To develop their own economy, Palestinians need their land and resources stolen by Israel restored to them.

Herding Palestinians

Seen another way, the Abraham Fund’s planned checkpoint upgrade is actually a subsidy by the Gulf to the settlements. That is because the very purpose of the checkpoints is to enforce Israeli control over where and when Palestinians can travel in their homeland. 

Israel uses the checkpoints as a way to herd Palestinians into particular areas of the occupied West Bank, especially the third under nominal PA control, while blocking their entry to the rest. That includes a denial of access to the West Bank’s most fertile land and its best water sources. Those areas are exactly where Israel has been building and expanding the settlements.From Egypt to the UAE, normalisation with Israel heralds disaster

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Palestinians are in a zero-sum battle against the settlers for control over land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Any help Israel receives in restricting their movement through checkpoints is a loss to Palestinians and a victory for the settlers. Modernised checkpoints will simply be far more efficient at herding Palestinians where Israel and the settlers want them to be.

In partnering with Israel on upgrading checkpoints, the Gulf will be aiding Israel in making its technology of confinement and control of the Palestinian population even more sophisticated, benefiting once again the settlers. 

This is the real story of the Gulf’s Abraham Accords – not simply of turning a blind eye to Israel’s decades-long oppression of Palestinians, but of actively becoming partners with Israel and the settlers in carrying out that oppression. 

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.Jonathan CookJonathan Cook, a British journalist based in Nazareth since 2001, is the the author of three books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is a past winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His website and blog can be found at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net

Israel’s Honeymoon with the United Arab Emirates Is Grotesque

By Belén Fernández

Global Research,

December 10, 2020Jacobin 7 December 2020

Since normalizing relations in September, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have teamed up to do what both do best: trample on democratic freedoms, commit atrocities, and whitewash occupation.

***

Back in 2010, the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman issued the following complaint: “Destructive critics dismiss Gaza as an Israeli prison, without ever mentioning that had Hamas decided — after Israel unilaterally left Gaza — to turn it into Dubai rather than Tehran, Israel would have behaved differently, too.”

Never mind that Israel never “left” Gaza — or that even if Hamas had managed to transform the diminutive Palestinian coastal enclave into the capital of Iran, international law would not have authorized the Israelis to then convert it into the “world’s largest open-air prison.” It’s also unclear how any territory could be turned into Dubai while under siege and frequent bombardment, or how Gazans would go about building malls with ski slopes — or building anything, for that matter — when Israel intermittently blocks construction materials from coming into the narrow strip of land.

Now, courtesy of the September normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates — the culmination of a long-standing clandestine love affair — it seems the Palestinians will finally get to experience a taste of Dubai. (And Emirati alcohol consumers will get a taste of Israeli-made wine from the illegally occupied Golan Heights.)

In a recent CNN dispatch titled “The UAE and Israel’s whirlwind honeymoon has gone beyond normalization,” correspondent Ben Wedeman writes of the “mutual enthusiasm” infecting the Israeli government and the federation of Arab sheikhdoms, so much so that the UAE “appears to have dropped, in practical terms, any objections to Israel’s occupation of Arab lands.” That’s no accident. Disappearing the occupation is a primary function of normalization, fitting right in with the Friedmanite approach to Middle East peace, which posits that, if the Palestinians would just stop bitching about being occupied and massacred and get on with their lives, they, too, could be Dubai — the equivalent of telling a person in a burning house to simply ignore the flames.A Special Relationship Born in Hell: The US Should Cut all Ties with War Criminal Israel

Wedeman catalogues the perks of the overzealous Emirati-Israeli honeymoon: mutual visa exemption, the aforementioned wine, an excursion to the UAE by Israeli settler leaders from the West Bank, direct flights between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi scheduled to start early next year, and an arrangement where the UAE will “finance with the US and Israel a project to ‘modernize’ Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank used to control and monitor the movement of Palestinians.”

Presumably, “modernization” does not mean that Israeli soldiers will stop beatingkilling, detaining, and otherwise abusing Palestinians at checkpoints. But perhaps the Emiratis can help install state-of-the-art mobile maternity wards to deal with the Palestinian women forced to give birth there.

To be sure, it’s not like the checkpoints aren’t “modern” enough already. As NBC News reported last year, Microsoft has “invested in a startup that uses facial recognition to surveil Palestinians throughout the West Bank, in spite of the tech giant’s public pledge to avoid using the technology if it encroaches on democratic freedoms.”

That’s no turnoff for the UAE, where democratic freedoms are entirely absent and the slightest criticism of the government is grounds for detentiontorture, or disappearance. And what do you know: Emirati-Israeli collaboration regarding surveillance far predated the official unveiling of amorous bilateral relations. In 2015, a Middle East Eye article quoted a description of Abu Dhabi’s Israeli-installed mass civil spying system: “Every person is monitored from the moment they leave their doorstep to the moment they return to it. Their work, social and behavioral patterns are recorded, analyzed and archived.”

Call it modern barbarism — a right-wing neoliberal dream where basic rights are supplanted by skyscrapers, artificial islands, the annual Dubai Shopping Festival, and other distracting obscenities built on the backs of a migrant work force toiling in “virtual slavery.”

For their normalization efforts, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Perverse, unless you recall that former US president Barack Obama, the man who ordered the dropping of at least 26,171 bombs on seven Muslim-majority countries in 2016 alone, also received the prize. “Peace,” meanwhile, is not currently an option for Palestinians, Yemenis, and other regional inhabitants whose lives are sacrificed in the interest of arms industry profits and similar fixtures of “modernity” — all with US backing, and an imperial narrative that insists Iran is the one causing all the trouble.

So the honeymooners are getting off scot-free, whether for killing 2,251 people in Gaza in a matter of fifty days or for helping oversee the sexual torture of Yemeni detainees and mass starvation of Yemeni children as part of the Saudi-led coalition. And as normalization forges ahead, it’s nothing short of terrifying that anyone finds this normal.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Belén Fernández is the author of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at WorkMarytrs Never Die: Travels through South Lebanon, and, most recently, Exile: Rejecting America and Finding the World. She is a contributing editor at Jacobin.

Featured image is from DesertpeaceThe original source of this article is JacobinCopyright © Belén FernándezJacobin, 2020

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (01– 07 October 2020)

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01– 07 October 2020

  • Civilian shot dead by IOF near ‘Annab checkpoint in Tulkarm;
  • 18 Palestinian civilians, including 2 childern, wounded in IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank;
  • 15 were wounded in IOF suppression of two peaceful protests in Kafr Qaddum in Qalqilya; 2 others in Nablus and Jenin; and a child sustained critical wounds in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • 4 shootings reported at agricultural lands and 4 others at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip;
  • In 112 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 102 civilians arrested, including 15 children;
  • IOF conducts two  incursions into the border areas central and southern Gaza Strip, where they sprayed agricultural  lands with pesticides;
  • A bulldozer confiscated in Nablus; and 62 olive trees cut and burned by settlers in Salfit;
  • IOF established 68 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints.

Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians. This week, IOF killed a civilian in Tulkarm, under the pretext of throwing Molotov Cocktails. Furthermore, IOF attacks rendered 18 Palestinian civilians wounded in excessive use of force, including 2 children, in the West Bank. In addition, settlers’ attacks and confiscation of Palestinians’ properties continued, under the pretext of working without permits.

This week, PCHR documented 197 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt. It should be noted that the limitations due to the corona virus pandemic, has limited PCHR’s fieldworkers mobility and ability to conduct field documentation; therefore, the information contained in this report are only part of the continued IOF violations.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: on 05 October 2020, IOF killed Sameer Ahmed ‘Abed al-Jaleel Hamidy (24), from Beit Lid village in eastern Tulkarm, near ‘Annab military checkpoint in Tulkarm, and kept his corpse in custody. IOF claimed that they targeted a group of civilians who threw Molotov cocktails at them. Although there were no eyewitnesses present at the time of the incident to confirm or deny the Israeli account; IOF could have used less lethal force especially that the Israeli military sites are fortified, and there was no serious threat or danger even if the sites were targeted with Molotov cocktails.

Furthermore, 18 civilians, including 2 children, wounded in IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank; 15 were wounded in IOF suppression of two peaceful protests in Kafr Qaddum in Qalqilya; 2 others in Nablus and Jenin; and a child sustained serious wounds in occupied East Jerusalem.

In the Gaza Strip, 4 IOF shootings were reported at agricultural lands and 4 others at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 112 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 102 Palestinians were arrested, including 15 children.

In Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 2 incursions into eastern Bureij refugee camp and eastern Khan Yunis; during which, Israeli drone sprayed agricultural lands in border area with pesticides, east of Khan Yunis, and arrested a child who sneaked into Israel and released him later.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented one violation in Nablus, where IOF stopped working in an agricultural land and confiscated a bulldozer.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers documented 2 attacks: 12 olive trees cut and 50 others burned in Salfit.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

IOF declared closing the West Bank and Gaza Strip crossings on Friday, 02 October 2020, and Saturday, 03 October 2020, due to Jewish holiday of “Sukkot.”

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said that West Bank crossings will be closed during the abovementioned days, except for the following crossings: Barta’a checkpoint, Nabi Ilyas checkpoint for residents in seam points, and Ni’lin checkpoint, which will be opened and operated as usual on Fridays. The Coordinator added that only humanitarian and life-saving cases will be allowed to travel through Beit Hanou “Erez” crossing, while Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum)  will be closed.

Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.

  I. IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

  • At approximately 11:00 on Thursday, 01 October 2020, IOF moved into Qatanna village, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Saleem Mahmoud Shamasna’s (50) house, arrested him and confiscated his vehicle. Meanwhile, dozens of young men gathered near Shamasna’s house and threw stones at Israeli soldiers who responded by firing rubber bullets and teargas canisters at the stone-throwers and chased them. Resulted in a number of civilians in the area suffered teargas inhalation. It should be noted that Shamasna served almost about 7 years in the Israeli prisons in separate periods; in the last of which he spent 18 months in administrative detention.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural lands east of Khuza’a village, adjacent to the abovementioned border fence. No injuries were reported.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into Sabastia village, northwest of Nablus, north of the West Bank, and stationed in al-Athar area, west of the city. Dozens of young men gathered and threw stones at Israeli soldiers who responded with live bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters. As a result, Adham Anwar al-Sha’er (29), from Barqa village, was shot and injured with a live bullet in his left eye while sitting with 3 of his friends in a restaurant, 30 meters away from the soldiers. Adham was taken to Rafidia Governmental Hospital for treatment and then he was transferred to al-Najah Hospital, where he underwent a surgery to remove his eye. It should be noted that Adham was shot while he was playing cards with his friends and he was not participating in the events, so there was no justification or reason to shot him.

Adham Anwar al-Sha’er said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “At approximately 22:00 on Thursday, 01 October 2020, while I was sitting in Sebastia Caffe in al-Athar area, west of Sebastia, northwest of Nablus, and playing cards with 3 of my friends. I saw about 30 Israeli soldiers stationed 30 meters away from the caffe’s garden, but we did not care because we are accustomed to such incursions. Meanwhile, dozens of young men gathered and threw stones at Israeli soldiers who responded with rubber bullets and teargas canisters. During the clashes, my friends and I entered the caffe and continued our game. As soon as we stood up, an Israeli soldier targeted me with a live bullet in my left eye. After 2 minutes I lost my consciousness and woke up in the ambulance. I was taken to Rafidia Governmental Hospital where they told me that I lost my left eye. Lately, my family informed me that I was transferred to al-Najah Hospital in Nablus, and at approximately 10:00, on the next day I underwent a 3-hours surgery at al-Najah Hospital, and my left eye was removed. Later, I will have cosmetic operations in the removed eye”.

  • At approximately 02:30 on Friday, 02 October 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area and opened fire at them, causing fear and panic among the Palestinian fishermen forcing them to flee. No injuries were reported.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF stationed near the annexation wall, adjacent to Faroun village, south of Tulkarm, banned the entry of the Palestinian workers into Israel through one of the holes in the annexation wall, even if they had permits. Meanwhile, verbal altercation erupted between the workers and the Israeli soldiers; during which, the soldiers attacked the workers. As a result, Ra’fat Ghaleb Mansour (32), from Kafr Qalil, east of Nablus, sustained 2 fractures in his leg after an Israeli soldier severely pushed. Mansour was taken to Dr. Thabit Thabit Governmental Hospital in Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established on Kafr Qaddum village lands, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest where dozens of Palestinian civilians participated. IOF chased the young men who gathered in the area. Meanwhile, IOF fired live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 13 civilians, including a child, were wounded. (PCHR keeps the names of the wounded civilians).
  • At approximately 17:10, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural lands east of Khuza’a, adjacent to the border fence with Israel. No injuries were reported.
  • At approximately 16:30 on Saturday, 03 October 2020, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established on Kafr Qaddum village lands, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest where dozens of Palestinian civilians participated. IOF chased the young men who gathered in the area. Meanwhile, they fired live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, two civilians were shot with live bullets; one in the lower limbs and the other in the waist.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural lands east of al-Fukhari village, adjacent to the border fence with Israel. No injuries were reported.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into al-Issawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They were deployed in the village neighborhoods, where they established a temporary military checkpoint at the western entrance and searched the Palestinian vehicles. Meanwhile, dozens of young men gathered and threw stones, fireworks and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli soldiers. IOF immediately moved into ‘ Obaid neighborhood from the western entrance and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at the demonstrators. The clashes continued for 2 hours. As a result, dozens of civilians suffered teargas inhalation. Also, Ahmed Haitham Mahmoud (19) and Lo’ay Ashraf Mahmoud (23) were arrested.
  • At approximately 21:00 on Sunday, 04 October 2020, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hizma village, north of occupied East Jerusalem, stationed at the city entrance and patrolled the streets. Dozens of young men gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who responded with live bullets and teargas canisters. As a result, Ameer Ghazi Salah al-Dein (16), was shot with a live bullet in his head and was taken with the PRC’s ambulance to one of the Ramallah’s hospitals. Medical sources described his health as critical due to a skull fracture. Lately, IOF withdrew from the village and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 03:30 on Monday, 05 October 2020, IOF moved into Jenin, north of the West Bank, and stationed in Jabal Abu Thuhair and Khillat al-Suha, southeast of the village. Dozens of young men gathered and throw stones at the Israeli soldiers who responded with live bullets and teargas canisters. As a result, an 18-years-old civilian, from Khillat al-Suha, was shot with a live bullet in his pelvis and he was taken to Dr. Khalil Suliman Hospital. Many civilians suffered teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. Before their withdrawal, IOF raided and searched Ahmed Khairy Khalaf’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 11:45 on Monday, 05 October 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural lands east of al-Qarara village, adjacent to the border fence with Israel. No injuries were reported.
  • At approximately 19:20, IOF stationed in a temporary military checkpoint established at the entrance of ‘Inab settlement, east of Tulkarm, fired several live bullets near the checkpoint. Later, the Israeli authorities announced in a statement that they monitored 3 Palestinian civilians throwing Molotov Cocktails at a military site in the area, and that IOF opened fire at them, targeting one of them. Israeli media stated that the wounded civilian was killed after being shot with a live bullet in his chest, and IOF kept his body in custody while and the two other civilians flee. The killed civilian was identified as Sameer Ahmed Hamidi (24), from Beit Lid, east of Tulkarm. Hamidi was a member in the Student Union Council in al-Khadouri University, and he was a former prisoner in the Israeli prisons, and was released 2 years ago. PCHR’s fieldworker said that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) officially informed Hamidi’s family about the death of their son. Although there were no eyewitnesses present at the time of the incident to confirm or deny the Israeli account; IOF could have used less lethal force especially that the Israeli military sites are fortified, and there was no serious threat or danger even if the sites were targeted with Molotov cocktails.
  • At approximately 20:00, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniya offshore, west of Jabalia in northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within (3-5 nautical miles) and opened fire at them causing fear and panic among the Palestinian fishermen forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 06:40 on Tuesday, 06 October 2020, IOF along the border fence, east of al-Maghazi refugee camp, opened fire at agricultural lands, adjacent to the abovementioned border fence. No injuries were reported.
  • At approximately 09:20 on Tuesday, 06 October 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniya offshore, west of Jabalia, and al-Waha, northwest of Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and sporadically opened fire at them, causing fear and panic among the Palestinian fishermen forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 17:00 on Wednesday, 07 October 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniya offshore, west of Jabalia, and al-Waha, northwest of Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire at them and fired sound bombs, causing fear and panic among the Palestinian fishermen forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.

    II. Incursions and Arrests

Thursday, 01 October 2020

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested 4 civilians, including 2 children. The arrestees were identified as: Isma’il Sameer al-Fayoumi (17), ‘Odai Hussni al-Najjar (9), Moatasem Wael ‘Awadallah Zaydat (19), and Yazan Mahmoud al-Najjar (18).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Dhahiriya village in southern Hebron, where they raided and searched Ashraf Hussain Hasan Jabareen’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:10, IOF moved into Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested 2 civilians, including a child. The arrestees were identified as Sa’d Ahmed Salem (19) and Mansour Ahmed Mostafa ‘Ata (17).
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Al-Tur neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested Ashraf Khaled al-Hadra (22) and Baker ‘Emad al-Moghrabi (27) and withdrew later.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched 2 houses, from which they arrested Hamad Niam Ikhlayil (17) and Suliman Mohammed Abu Dayyiah (16), taking them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 02:10, IOF moved into Al-Mazra’a al-Sharqiya village in Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested Sameh Hussain Shikha (27), Ja’far Suliman Abu ‘Aliyia (25) and Mohammed Jad Hussain Hifa (22).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Hebron and stationed in al-Dahiyia area. They raided and searched Waheeb Hamdi Abu Hadeed’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Isawiya village, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched dozens of houses, from which they arrested 16 civilians, including 5 children, and withdrew later. (PCHR keeps the names of the arrestees).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested ‘Adnan Saier Abu Howila (19).
  • At approximately 04:25, IOF moved into Azzun village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched two houses belonging to ‘Abed al-Shaheed Na’iem Zamari (21) and Sa’ied Ayoub Zamari (20) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Tammun village, southeast of Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Ghazi Mostafa Basharat (28).
  • At approximately 05:50, IOF moved into Sanur village, southeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested 2 siblings identified as Mohammed (22) and Saif (24) Yousef Farouq al-‘Eisiyia.
  • At approximately 06:30, IOF backed by military vehicles moved 100 meters to the east of Khuzaʽa village, east of Khan Yunis. They leveled and combed lands that were previously leveled amidst Israeli sporadic shooting.  However, no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed ‘Emad Dari’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into Wadi Al-Joz neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to a former prisoner, Hanadi Mohammed al-Helwani (42) and arrested her, taking her to a police station in the city. Few hours later, al-Helwani was released after threatening her to re-arrest her if she would not stop inciting against Israeli authorities and police on social media.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF stationed at Mavi Dotan checkpoint, southwest of Jenin, arrested Ahmed Salah Nazzal (24), from Qabatiya village, southeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank.

IOF carried out (5) incursions in ‘Ein Yabrud village, north of Ramallah; Beit Dajan village, northeast of Nablus; Idhna village and Al-Arroub refugee camp; and Qalqilya. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 02 October 2020

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to a former prisoner, Moatasem Abu al-Hawa (27) and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Yatta village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched three houses belonging to Khaldoun ‘Ayed Shreteh, Nazieh Mahmoud Shreteh and Mohammed Mahmoud Shreteh and withdrew later. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 03:10, IOF moved into Beitunia village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Hasan Yousef Dawoud Darakhil’s (65) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Al-Bireh city, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched Nour Mohammed ‘Abed al-‘Aziz al-Qadi’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 06:20, IOF backed by 8 military vehicles moved 50-100 meters to the west of the border fence, east of Bureij refugee camp in the central of Gaza Strip. They leveled and combed lands and repaired the border barbed-wire fence. At approximately 09:30, IOF redeployed along the border fence.
  • At approximately 13:30, IOF arrested Nehad Bader Zaghir (43), a former prisoner, while he was in al-Qataneen area in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City and took him to a police station in the city. Few hours later, Zaghir was released.
  • At approximately 21:40, IOF arrested Saif Nader Ibrahim (15) and Wadee’ Qasem Shaheen (15) while they were near al-Anfaq military checkpoint, west of Beit Jala city, under the pretext of throwing a Molotov Cocktail at the checkpoint.
  • IOF carried out (7) incursions in Birzeit city, northwest of Ramallah; Zububa and Rummanah villages, west of Jenin; and Dur, Beit al-Rush, Tarrama and ‘Oyoun Abu Saif villages in Hebron.No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 03 October 2020

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Um al-Dalia area, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Sameeh Saleem Qafisha’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested al-Aqsa Mosque’s guards Mohammed al-Shalalda and Ahmed al-Dalal while they were in their workplace in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, taking them to a police station in the city. The Islamic Endowment Department (Awqaf) stated that the Israeli police released the guards after interrogating them for several hours. The Islamic Endowment Department clarified that the police released the guards without any conditions. It added that the guards were arrested without any reasons. Al-Awqaf stated that IOF recently deported many guards and al-Awqaf employees from al-Aqsa Mosque; among them was Zeenat Abu Sobeih, Head of the Guards at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
  • IOF carried out (8) incursions in al-Bireh city, Al-Mazra’a al-Sharqiya and Abu_Shukheidim villages, north of Ramallah; Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus; Beit Kahil, Beit Ummar and ad-Dhahr villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 04 October 2020

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into Silwad village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested Mohanad Sameer al-Tawil (20), Jum’a Hasan Hammad (19), Handala Sameer Hammad (22), Mohammed Moneer Hammad (21), Sarhan Akram Hammad (20), ‘ADEL Maher Hammad (21), and Mo’min Haroun Hammad (20).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to ‘Ali Yousef Taqatqah (20) and ‘Adel Abu Ya’qoub Derieh (27) and arrested them. It should be noted that both of them were previously arrested by IOF.
  • At approximately 11:20, IOF who were patrolling at Yitzhar bypass road, southwest of Tell village, southwest of Nablus, arrested Kareem ‘Abed al-Men’iem Ramadan (35) while picking olive trees, under the pretext of a lack of necessary permission and coordination.
  • At approximately 14:00, Israeli drone sprayed agricultural lands with pesticides along the border fence, starting from eastern al-Qarara village towards al-Faraheen area in Abasan_al-Kabira, east of Khan Yunis. IOF claimed that they sprayed the agricultural lands to get rid of the weeds, and for security reasons. As a result, the Palestinian farmers’ crops sustained damage.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF arrested Montaser ‘Ali al-‘Ajlouni (21), from Hebron’s Old City, while passing on the closed Shuhada Street. He was taken to an investigation center in “Kiryat Arba” settlement”, east of Hebron.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF stationed at container military checkpoint, east of Bethlehem, arrested Tamer ‘Azi al-Shawamrah (29), from Um al-Sharayet area, south of Ramallah, while passing through the checkpoint.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Far’un village and Kafa area, south of Tulkarm; Sa’ir and as-Samu villages in Hebron; and Deir al-Ghusun village, north of Tulkarm. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 05 October 2020

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Yatta, south of Hebron. They raided and searched ‘Esam Fayiz Hoshieh’s (55) house, locked his family members in one room, and arrested him along with his son Amjad (24) before their withdrawal.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Nablus, north of the West Bank, and stationed in al-Hafiryat area, east of the city. They raided and searched ‘Izz al-Deen Jamal Dowikat’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Fawzi ‘Obaid (23) and Mohammed Marwan ‘Obaid (20) and arrested them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Hebron and stationed in Jabal Jouhar area. They raided and searched Ayman Riyad al-Ja’bari’s (40) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Ezion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Jenin, north of the West Bank, and stationed in Jabal Abu Dahir area. They raided and searched Ahmed Khairy Suliman Khalaf’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:50, IOF moved into Beitunia village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mohammed Qart’s (21) house and arrested him. IOF also confiscated his motorcycle.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Jab’ village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ahmed Fayiz Hamdan Salatna (19) and ‘Eid Mohammed ‘Eid Hamamrah (20) and arrested them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed ‘Emad Thawabta (22) and ‘Abed al-Raheem Subhi al-Kar (24) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested 4 civilians, including 2 siblings and their uncle. The arrestees were identified as ‘Abdullah Bader Abu ‘Asab (19), Eyad Mostafa al-Asmar (37) and Mousa (19) and Mohammed (17) Hitham al-Asmar.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF stationed at al-Jalma military checkpoint, north of Jenin, arrested Fadi Samer Zakarna (19), from Qabatiya village, southeast of Jenin.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Ghadeb ‘Obaid (31) and Moatasem Hamza ‘Obaid (18) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF arrested Waheeb Abu al-Humus (26) while he was in front of his house in Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 22:30, IOF moved into Bab Hatta neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Hasheem’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Dura city, Fawwar refugee camp, Beit Ummar village in Hebron; and Far’un and Beit Lid villages, south of Tulkarm. No arrests were reported. Also, IOF fired flare bombs during their incursions.

Tuesday, 06 October 2020

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Hebron, where they raided and searched ‘Othman Mostafa al-Ja’bari’s (39) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Ezion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Dura City, southwest of Hebron, and stationed in Qarwash area. They raided and searched Mohammed ‘Amer Gazzaz’s (23) house and withdrew later. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested 6 civilians, including a child, and took them to a police station in the city. The arrestees were identified as Mohammed Ibrahim ‘Obaid (19), Tareq Mousa ‘Obaid (20), Reda Mohammed ‘Obaid (16), Majd Basheer Ahmed (22), Mohammed Thaier Mahmoud (20), and Mohammed Mahmoud Mahmoud (19).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Ahmed ‘Emad al-Badawi’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Hejjra village, east of Dura city, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched Ghassan Ibrahim Masharqah’s (33) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:50, IOF moved into Ramallah, where they raided and searched Sufian Bassam Meqdad’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into ad-Dhahiriya village, south of Hebron, and stationed Wadi al-Ghamari neighborhood. They raided and searched ‘Ahed ‘Ali al-‘Aqabi’s (39) house and withdrew later. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF moved into occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched ‘Abed al-Rahman Ayman al-Bashiti’s (16) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 20:30, IOF arrested Deputy of Fatah Movement Secretary, Yaser Hasan Darwish (39), while he was in Beit Hanina village, north of occupied East Jerusalem.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Aqabat Jaber refugee camp; Tulkarm City; and Ash-Shuyukh and Sa’ir villages. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 07 October 2020

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beita village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Qassam ‘Enad al-Jaghoub’s (31) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Aida Camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched People’s Committee Office after blowing up its doors. Head of People’s Committee for Services, Sa’eed al-‘Izzah, said that IOF deliberately damaged the office in addition to nearby houses within terror campaigns. He clarified that IOF damaged and blew up the People’s Committee office doors before storming it. They also damaged a number of nearby houses. Al-‘Izzah pointed out that the the People’s Committee office belongs to the Refugee Affairs Department and works to serve the camp residents and provides humanitarian services for them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Yatta city, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Husam Tayseer Rab’i’s (31) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Eizariya village, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched ‘Ali Baheej Bassa’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Hashimia village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched Hassan Nayif Mohammed Jarar’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:45. IOF moved into Qusra village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested Waleed Tawfiq Salama (22) and Ibrahim Yousef Darwih (24).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Qabatiya village, southeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Mo’min Ahmed Mostafa Saba’nah’s (28) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Hebron, where they raided and searched Bashar ‘Abed al-‘Aleem Da’na’s (37) house and withdrew later. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF raided al-Jamla school for boys, which is located in Wa’ret al-Erfan area in northern Jenin. IOF detained the teachers and the school guard’s IDs. They then raided the headmaster room, opened the digital video recorder (DVR), copied all material from it.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF arrested ‘Emad Ahmed Jadallah (35), from Tarrama village, south of Dura City, southwest of Hebron, after he headed for investigation in the Israeli Intelligence Services (Shabak) in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem. The Israeli Intelligence Services summoned Jadallah via a phone call, and he was taken to a detention center in the settlement.
  • At approximately 15:15, IOF stationed adjacent to Zikim military base along the coastal border fence of the northern Gaza Strip, arrested ‘Izz al-Deen Sa’ieed Slman Abu Qeleeq (16), from the Bedouin village. Abu Qeleeq sneaked into the Israel via the border fence. Two hours later, IOF released him.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Kafr Qaddum village, east of Qalqilya; and Yatta, as-Samu and al-Sima villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

  • Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property
  • At approximately 12:00 on Monday, 05 October 2020, IOF moved into Furush Beit Dajan village, northeast of Nablus in Jordan’s northern valleys, north of the West Bank. They headed towards a bulldozer that was excavating a water tank for irrigating crops in a plot of land belonging to Thabet Mohammed Redwan Thabet, from Beit Dajan village. IOF ordered the bulldozer’s owner to halt working, checked the ID cards of him, the land’s owner and his friend and questioned them for 2 hours. After that, IOF confiscated the bulldozer, which is owned by Harbi Abu Dahilah, from Jiftlik village in Jordan’s northern valleys and took it to an unknown destination under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (C).

Israeli Settlers’ Attacks

  • On Sunday, 04 October 2020, Othmaniya Mohammed Othman, from Kafr ad-Dik village, west of Salfit, learnt that Israeli settlers attacked her land and cut olive trees with electric saw in Khaneq al-Kuhul area.

Her son, Mansour Nasser Mansour (39) said to PCHR’s fieldworker:

” on Sunday morning, my father went to his land like other farmers who did the same to harvest their olive trees. My mother inherited this land from my grandfather. My father noticed that the olive trees were cut recently as they went to the land on 29 September 2020, and there was no attack on the land. It should be noted that Israeli settlers attacked a land of our neighbor, Abed Suleiman Ali Ahmed.”

  • At approximately 15:00 on Wednesday, 07 October 2020, Israeli settlers from “ Leshem” settlement established on Palestinians’ lands in Deir Ballut, west of Salfit, set fir on a land called “Ereq al-Tout”, east of the village. As a result, 50 olive trees in a plot of land owned by Yusuf, Mustfa, and Eftaih Abdullah, from Deir Balمut village, were burnt.
  1. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

IOF declared closing the West Bank and Gaza Strip crossings on Friday, 02 October 2020, and Saturday, 03 October 2020, due to Jewish holiday of “Sukkot.”

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said that West Bank crossings will be closed during the abovementioned days, except for the following crossings: Barta’a checkpoint, Nabi Ilyas checkpoint for residents in seam points, and Ni’lin checkpoint, which will be opened and operated as usual on Fridays.

The coordinator added that Beit Hanmoun “Erez” crossing will be partially opened for humanitarian and “lifesaving” cases during certain work hours, while the goods’ crossing “Kerem Shalom” will be closed.

Furthermore, the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

West Bank:

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. IOF established 68 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 3 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

  • On Thursday, 01 October 2020, tightened the closure imposed on al-Aqsa Mosque and occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City and intensified the military checkpoints at al-Aqsa Mosque gates and in its vicinity and in its alleys due to the Jewish holiday of “Sukkot”, which        starts in the evening hours of the same day and ends after a week.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 01 October 2020, IOF established5 checkpoints at the western and northern entrances to Tuqu village, the entrance to Beit Fajjar and Husan villages, Aqabet Hasnah area leading to villages west of Bethlehem.
  • On Friday, 02 October 2020, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Tuqu, Beit Fajjar, and Jannata villages, and Aqabat Hasnah area leading to villages west of Bethlehem and near al-Nashash area, south of the city.
  • On Saturday, 03 October 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Tuqu, Beit Fajjar, Marah Rabah and Husan villages.
  • On Sunday, 04 October 2020, IOF established 6 checkpoints at the western entrance to Beit Jala. Western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, the entrances to Tuqu and al-Khader villages, the entrance to Al Jab’a village, and near al-Nashash area, south of the city.
  • On Monday, 05 October 2020, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit Jala, Tuqu, Marah Rabah villages, Aqabat Hasnah area, leading to villages west of Bethlehem, near al-Nashash area, south of the city.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 01 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint between Ein Yabrud, and Dura al-Qar’ villages, north of Ramallah.
  • On Friday, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Jalazone refugee camp, northwest of Ramallah.
  • On Monday, 05 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Deir Abu Masha’al village, northwest of Ramallah.
  • On Tuesday, 06 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Nabi Salih village, west of Ramallah.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 01 October 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to: Ash-Shuyukh, Karma, and Bani Na’im villages.
  • On Friday, 02 October 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Hebron’s western entrance, and al-Fahes Road, south of Hebron.
  • on Sunday, 04 October 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Einun, Idhna, Beit Ummar, and as-Samu.
  • On Monday 05 October 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Bani Na’im, and Beit Ummar villages, and Wadi Risha road, west of Idhna village.
  • On Wednesday, -7 October 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the western entrance to Hebron, Beit Awwa, Kharsa villages and al- Arroub  refugee camp.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 01 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of ” Shavei Shomron” settlement (on Nablus – Tulkarm main road), west of Nablus.
  • On Saturday, 03 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Deir Sharaf village ( linking between Tulkarm and Nablus), west of Nablus. IOF also closed the road linking between Qusra and Jalud villages, southeast of Nablus, with sand barriers  using a bulldozer.

Jenin:

  • On Friday, 02 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin.
  • On Sunday, 04 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection to Arraba village, southwest of Jenin.
  • On Monday, 05 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ti’inik village, southwest of Jenin.
  • On Tuesday, 06 October 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Ti’inik village, southwest of Jenin, and the entrance to Arraba village, northeast if Jenin.

Salfit:

  • On Friday, 02 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Kafr ad-Dik village, west of Salfit.
  • On Saturday, 03 October 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Deir Istiya and Hares villages, north of Salfit.
  • On Tuesday, 06 October 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Salfit, the western entrance to Kafr ad-Dik village, eastern entrance to Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit.

Qalqilya:

  • On Friday, 02 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.
  • On Saturday, 03 October 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya and the entrance to Azzun village, east of Qalqilya.
  • On Monday, 05 October 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya, Azzun, and Izbat al-Tabib villages, east of Qalqilya.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 01 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Friday, 02 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Saturday, 03 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Monday, 05 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Auja village, west of Jericho.
  • On Saturday, 03 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Monday, 05 October 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Auja village, west of Jericho.

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Palestine(10– 16 September 2020)

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Israeli Violations of Human Rights in Palestine

10 – 16 September 2020

  • 6 Palestinian civilians wounded in IOF excessive use of force;
  • shootings reported at agricultural lands and twice at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip;
  • In 80 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 68 civilians arrested, including 9 children, 2 women, and a journalist;
  • 2 Palestinians from Gaza arrested, one at Erez Crossing while travelling for medical treatment abroad; and another after attempting to sneak into Israel;
  • IOF conducts 2 incursions into eastern Gaza Strip;
  • 4 houses and a residential building self-demolished; other demolition notices distributed in occupied East Jerusalem;
  • 3 construction vehicles confiscated, road-construction and land rehabilitation blocked; 9 cease-construction and demolition notices served in the West Bank;
  • IOF established 70 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 5 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians. This week, IOF wounded 6 Palestinian civilians, including a journalist and a child, in excessive use of force during raids into Palestinian cities. IOF also continued its policy of demolishing and destroying Palestinian houses and facilities for its settlement expansion schemes.

The curfew continues in the Gaza Strip for the second week in a raw to limit the spread of coronavirus after cases were discovered outside quarantine centers. PCHR warns of the catastrophic implications of coronavirus spread in the Gaza Strip, especially with its already-exhausted health care system due to 14 years of illegal and inhuman closure and collective punishment policies imposed by IOF on the Gaza Strip.

This week, PCHR documented 169 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt. It should be noted that the limitations due to the corona virus pandemic, has limited PCHR’s fieldworkers mobility and ability to conduct field documentation; therefore, the information contained in this report are only part of the continued IOF violations.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: IOF wounded 6 civilians in IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank, including a child and a journalist: 4 were wounded, including journalist Nasser Shtayyeh (52) from Salem village who sustained a live bullet in the neck, at Kafr Qaddum weekly protest against settlement expansion activities in Qalqilya; another civilian sustained wounds near the Annexation Wall in Jenin, and a child was wounded in IOF raid into Ramallah.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF opened fire twice at agricultural lands and twice at fishing boats, eastern and western Gaza Strip.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 80 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 68 Palestinians were arrested, including 9 children, 2 women, and a journalist. In Gaza, IOF arrested two Palestinians, both from Khan Younis: one at Erez Crossing while travelling for treatement abroad via the crossing; and the other was arrested while attempting to enter Israel. IOF also conducted two incursions into eastern Central Gaza and Gaza governorates.

Demolitions:

IOF continued its settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented 11 violations, including:

  • East Jerusalem: 4 houses, and a residential building, self-demolished; demolition notices served to houses and a mosque and an order to vacate a house;
  • Jenin: road construction interrupted, and a construction vehicle confiscated;
  • Hebron: 9 cease-construction and demolition notices served to 3 houses, a sheep barn, agricultural lands and an electric network;
  • Tulkarm: construction vehicle confiscated;
  • Bethlehem: road rehabilitation work interrupted, and a construction vehicle confiscated.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

For the third consecutive week, curfew is still imposed on the Gaza Strip to contain the outbreak of coronavirus,  especially after coronavirus cases were confirmed outside the quarantine centers in the Gaza Strip. As a result, the suffering of Gaza Strip population has increased, PCHR fears a catastrophic deterioration in living conditions if the curfew is maintained for a lengthy period without a protection mechanism for the poor, unemployed and limited-income families, as well as daily workers who have lost their sources of income due to the state of emergency and curfew.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.

   I. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity

  • At approximately 07:00 on Friday, 11 September 2020, IOF signed to guard the annexation wall near Thahr al-Abed village, southwest of Jenin, north of the West Bank, fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at a number of Palestinian workers, attempting to enter Israel for work. As a result, a 22-year-old civilian, from Qafen village, north of Tulkarm, north of the West Bank, was shot with a teargas canister to his mouth and he was transferred to Dr. Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin for medical treatment. His wound was described as moderate.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 11 September 2020, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established at lands of Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian civilians participated. IOF chased the young men who gathered in the area. Clashed with them, and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 4 civilians were shot; including the journalist Naser Shtayyeh (52) who was shot with a live bullet to his neck.
  • At approximately 15:00 on Saturday, 12 September 2020, • a number of Palestinian young men gathered at Bab al-Zawiyah area in the center of Hebron and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed at a military checkpoint established at al-Shuhada’a closed street. A number of Israeli soldiers fired teargas canisters at the stone-throwers, resulted in a number of civilians in the area suffered teargas inhalation. The clashes continued until 17:30, when the Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets at them. As a result, a 13-year-old child was shot with a rubber bullet to his face, and he was taken to the Governmental Hospital in Hebron.
  • At approximately 01:00 on Sunday, 13 September 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3-6 nautical miles) and opened fire at them causing fear and panic among the Palestinian fishermen forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 15:00, an Israeli infantry unit stormed the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp that leads to Bypass Road (60) and deployed between civilians’ houses. A group of young men gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who responded with live bullets and teargas canisters against the stone-throwers. As a result, a number of the Palestinian civilian suffered teargas inhalation, and no incursions or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF stationed inside the annexation wall, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural lands east of al-Qarara village, adjacent to the abovementioned border fence. No injuries were reported.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF stationed inside the annexation wall, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural lands east of Abasan al-Kabira and Abasan al-Jadida villages, adjacent to the border fence with Israel. No injuries were reported.
  • At approximately 01:30 on Monday, 14 September 2020, IOF moved into al-Zawiya village, west of Salfit. They shot sound bombs and teargas canisters in the streets and arrested Ashraf Farah Qadous and Mohammed Zuhair Qadous, and released them later.
  • At approximately 03:15 on Tuesday, 15 September 2020, IOF moved into Ramallah and stationed in al-Masyoun neighborhood. A number of young men gathered, and threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who responded by shooting sound bombs, teargas canisters and live bullets. As a result, a 16-year-old child, from Um al-Sharayet neighborhood, was shot with a shrapnel of a teargas canister to his neck and leg, and he was taken to Palestine Medical Center in Ramallah.
  • At approximately 13:30 on Tuesday, 15 September 2020, IOF closed the military checkpoint established on the entrance of al-Shuhada street and banned the students of Qurtuba School, located in the middle of al-Shuhada St, street from leaving for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, a number of young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers, who responded by shooting sound bombs and teargas canisters randomly at the Palestinian civilians, forcing them to close their stores and leave. As a result, many civilians suffered teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 05:45 on Wednesday, 16 September 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (2-6 nautical miles) and opened fire and sound bombs at them causing fear and panic among the Palestinian fishermen forcing them to flee. No injuries were reported.

  II. Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 10 September 2020:

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF stationed at the “Container” military checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, arrested Bara’ Tayseer Jaber (26), from Jenin refugee camp, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Beit Ammer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Ammar Bader Mahmoud Ikhlayel’s (41) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Marwan Mahmoud Eissa Fararja’s (33) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Sa’eer village, north of Hebron, and stationed in al-Shifa area. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Jehad Khaled Shalaleda (34), and the journalist Abd al-Mohsen Tayseer Shalaleda (28), who were taken to unknown destinations. At approximately 11:00, they were released from the “Gush Etzion” settlement’s detention center, south of Bethlehem.

Abdul Mohsen Shalaleda said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

While me and my family were sleeping, we heard knocks on our door, so I opened the door of the house to see the Israeli occupation soldiers surrounding the house. They ordered me to wear my clothes and bring my cell phone with me and accompany them. They took me along with my uncle, Khaled Shalaleda, by one of their military vehicles to al-Fardis military camp, south of Bethlehem, before we were taken to “Gush Etzion” settlement, were I was interrogated about my journalistic work. At approximately 11:00, we were released.”

  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Shuyukh village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Qassam Mousa Halayqa’s (37) house and took him to an unknown destination. At approximately 11:00, he was released from “Gush Etzion” settlement’s detention center, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF stationed at the “Container” military checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, arrested Abdul Ra’ouf Ahmed Jaradat (20), from Jenin refugee camp, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF claimed that he possessed a gun in his car. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF arrested Shady Mohammed Abu Akar (34), from Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, while present near “Etzion” rotary south of the city, and took him to an unknown destination. It should be noted that Abu Akar is a former prisoner in the Israeli prisons.
  • In evening hours, IOF stationed adjacent to the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Younis, arrested Sharaf Mahmoud Ramadan al-Shami (26), from Bani Suhaila village, east of Khan Younis, while attempting to sneak inside the border fence. His father said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Sharaf left the house at approximately 20:00, and on Friday, 11 September 2020, they received a phone call from the Israeli army to notify them that Sharaf was arrested and taken to al-Majdal “Ashkelon” prison.
  • IOF carried out (8) incursions in Ti’inik, Zububa, and Faqqua villages in Jenin; Tubas, al-Aqaba, and Talluza, north of Nablus; Deir Istiya, north of Salfit; and Birzeit, north of Ramallah governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 11 September 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Khalil Mahmoud Eissa al-Najjar’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF moved into al-Issawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians including two children. The arrestees are: Ali Sufian Obaid (18), Younis Sufian Obaid (15), Yazan Emran Obaid (20), and Mohammed Ibrahim al-Kharouf (15). They were released after several hours of investigation in “al-Barid” police station, on condition of house arrest for 5 days and paying (500 NIS) for each.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF arrested Amjad Othman Rasheed al-Far (25), from Qalqilya, while present in the eastern entrance of Qalqilya. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Dura and al-Fawwar refugee camp, in Hebron governorate. no arrests were reported.

Saturday, 12 September 2020

  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Arroub refugee camp in northern Hebron. They raided and searched Khader Mahmoud Madi’s (27) house and arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Jiftlik village in northern Jericho, central of the West Bank. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Hitham Ibrahim Ahmed Jahaleen (22) and Bahaa’ Hasan Jahaleen (20) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF stationed at al-Jalma checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jenin, arrested Saddam Mahmoud al-Sa’di (20) and Kamal Mohammed Ameen al-Sa’di (20), from Halima al-Sa’diyia neighborhood in western Jenin, after stopping their motorcycle. During their arrest, Saddam and Kamal were beaten and released 8 hours later, while their motorcycle was confiscated.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Halhul city and Ash-Shuyukh village in Hebron; and Al-Mughayyir village and Al-Bireh city in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 13 September 2020

  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into Qalqilya, where they raided and searched ‘Ali Yousef Shareeem’s (35) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Attil village in northern Tulkarm. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Naserallah Omar Shalabi (20) and Fadi ‘Ali ‘Abed al-Hafiz (23) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Showika suburb in northern Tulkarm. They raided and searched Mohammed Moneer E’mar’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Deir Sammit village, southwest of Dura city, southwest of Hebron, and stationed in al-Roq’a area. They raided and searched Mohammed Foad Rayan’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Ras al-Amud neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched ‘Abed al-Raheem Mahmoud Barbar’s (80) house and arrested him, taking him to MoscoviaPolice Station in West Jerusalem. It should be noted that Barbar is the father of detainee Majd Barbar, who has served 19 years and several months of his 20-year sentence.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into al-Sa’diyia neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Harees Hijazi’s (18) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Hebron city and Beit Ummar village in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 14 September 2020

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mahmoud al-Selwadi al-Ashqar’s (53) house and arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination. Al-Ashqar was interrogated for few hours and later released.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Qarawat Bani Hassan village, where they raided and searched Mousa Ya’qoub ‘Assi’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Kafr Ein, northwest of  Ramallah. They raided and searched Saleh Omar al-Refa’i’s (17) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Dura city, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched Mahmoud Mohammed Hasan Fasfous’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF arrested the Fatah movement’s secretary in Jerusalem, Shadi Mutwar (43) and his wife after stopping their vehicle in Beit Hanina village, north of occupied East Jerusalem, taking them to MoscoviaPolice Station in West Jerusalem. Lawyer Khaldon Najem said that Israeli authorities released the secretary of the Fatah movement in Jerusalem, Shadi Mutour, and his wife provided that Mutwar’s wife and their 5 children would be under Israeli-imposed house arrest as a prelude to displace her from occupied East Jerusalem, after her residency in the city was withdrawn. Najem pointed out that Israeli authorities imposed the house arrest on Mutwar’s wife until issuing a decision on her case filed to the Israeli District Court regarding withdrawing her residency by the Israeli Interior Ministry and deciding to displace her away from her house and children. Israeli authorities claimed that her husband poses a threat to the state security. It should be noted that Mutwar got married in 2006 and after several years, her wife got a residence permit in Jerusalem, which was later withdrawn. It is noteworthy that Mutwar was deported from al-Aqsa Mosque few months ago, and he is exposed to ongoing harassments by Israeli Intelligence Service in Jerusalem.
  • In evening, IOF stationed at Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing in northern Gaza Strip, arrested Mohammed Tayseer Saleem Sawali (36), from Qizan al-Najjar area in Khan Yunis, while traveling to receive treatment at al Mutlaa Hospital via Erez crossing. Sawali’s father said to PCHR’s fieldworker that his son Mohammed, married and has one child, is diagnosed with cancer 6 months ago, and he obtained a medical referral to al Mutlaa Hospital. At approximately 13:00 on Monday, his son arrived at Erez crossing with his mother Asmahan Mohammed Taleb Sawali (52). After that, Israeli Intelligence Service summoned Mohammed for interrogation. At approximately 19:00, IOF informed Mohammed’s mother, who was in the crossing waiting hall, that her son was arrested, ordering her to return to Gaza. Asmahan was returned to Gaza and quarantined while Mohammed is still under Israeli arrest.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Kharbatha al-Misbah  village in Ramallah, and as-Samu and Karma villages in Hebron.No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Baqa ash-Sharqiyya village and Nur Shams refugee camp in Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested Loai Zidan Jaber (43), from Nur Shams camp, and Rasem Mohammed ‘Odah (40), from Baqa ash-Sharqiyya village.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested 10 civilians, including 5 children, taking them to a police station in the city.  PCHR keeps the names of the arrestees.
  • At approximately 02:40, IOF moved into Ramallah, and stationed in al-Masayif neighborhood. They raided and searched Hassan Ishtayieh Abu al-Razi’s (53) house and arrested him. Al-Razi, a former prisoner, was released on the same day.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Tour neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested Hamza Abu al-Hawa (20), Fadi Khwais (18), Mohammed Abu Jum’a (18), and Mohammed Abu Ghannam (19).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Baqa ash-Sharqiyya village, northeast of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Hekmat Fawzi Mohammed Khalaf’s (34) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF reinforced with 4 military vehicles moved 100 meters to the west of border fence with Israel, east of Gaza Valley (Juhor al-Deek), southeast of Gaza City. They leveled and combed lands along the border fence  before they redeployed again at approximately 15:00.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Yousef ‘Alawi Hamdan’s (27) house and arrested him. Also, Israeli police summoned Rami Fakhori, Rohi Kalghasi, Jehad Qawas, Mohammed Hazinah, and Hisham Basheti for interrogation in al-Qashla Police Station, west Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and handed 5 civilians notices to refer to Israeli Intelligence Service for interrogation in al-Qashla police station. After interrogating them, the civilians were handed a one-week deportation notices away from al-Aqsa, Mosque with the possibility of extending the deportation decision for several months. The deportees were identified as: isham Mohammed al-Bashiti (19), Hehad Naser Qawas (26), Rami Salah Fakhouri (29), Rohi Mahmoud al-Kalghasi (24), and Mohammed Naser Hazinah (25).
  • At approximately 17:00, an Israeli special undercover unit “Mista’arvim” sneaked into Burqin village, west of Jenin, via a van with Palestinian registration plate, and stationed near a fuel station. They arrested Mohammed Eyad Hasan Matahen (17), from Jenin refugee camp, while present in the village outskirts, taking him to an unknown destination.
  • Around the same time, IOF raided and searched a house belonging to Hanadi Mohammed al-Halwani (42), a former prisoner, and arrested her. After interrogating her for several hours in MoscoviaPolice Station in west Jerusalem, she was released on bail of NIS 5000 and provided not to communicate with several persons mentioned in the investigation.
  • At approximately 21:10, IOF stationed at ‘Inab military checkpoint east of Tulkarm, arrested Ahmed Fawzi Tawfiq al-Wawi (27), from Bal’a village in northern Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into Hizma village, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested Ayman and Mohammed Khader ‘Aqab Salah al-Deen.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Asira al-Qibliya and Sebastia villages in Nablus; and Surda village and al-Ersal neighborhood in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into al_Jib village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem, where they raided and searched Rowad Mohammed Jameel Khalifa’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Umm Salamuna village, south of Bethlehem, where they raided and searched Murad Jehad Mohammed Taqatqah’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Marah Rabah village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohanad Mohammed Khalil al-Shiekh (18) and Mo’taz Mohammed Mostafa al-Sheikh (18) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Sa’ir village, east of Hebron, where they raided and searched Hamed Omar Jaradat’s (40) house. IOF were later withdrew  and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:55, IOF moved into Qalqilya, where they raided and searched Mohammed Sameeh Jaber’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Hebron, where they raided and searched Hamed Taha Abu Isninah’s (36) house and handed him a notice to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in ” Gush Etzion ” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Silat ad-Dhahr village, south of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched two houses belonging to As’ad Ameen ‘Abed al-Rahmen Hantoli (42), Mayor of Silat ad-Dhahr village Municipality, and Fahed ‘Abed al-‘Aziz Shaker Za’rour (35) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Wadi Abu Friha area, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Montaser ‘Adnan al-‘Abiyat (26) and Zayid Mohammed al-‘Abiyat (45) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF reinforced with 5 military vehicles moved 100 meters to the west of border fence with Israel, northeast of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. They leveled and combed lands along the border fence and then  moved to southeast of al-Maghazi camp. Later, they redeployed along the border fence.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into al-Sowana neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem, where they raided and searched Ya’qoub Mahmoud Abu ‘Asab’s (48) house. IOF confiscated NIS 21,000 from ‘Asab’s house, under the pretext that the money was disbursed  from terrorist bodies.  Amjad Abu ‘Asab, Ya’qoub’s brother and Head of the Committee of Families of Prisoners in Jerusalem, said that IOF raided and searched his brother’s house and confiscated NIS 21,000. They also handed Ya’qoub’s wife a military order issued by the former defense minister, Bennett, ordering  Israeli soldiers to seize the money, under the pretext that the money was disbursed to his brother through terrorist bodies “the Ministry of Detainees Affairs  “. It should be noted that Ya’qoub was arrested several times and served 15 years in the Israeli jails.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Dura and Beit Ummar villages. No arrests were reported.

III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

  • Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property
  • On Saturday morning, 12 September 2020, Mohammed and his brother Mustafa Jom’ah al- Salaimah implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished their apartments in Wadi Qadum neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing.

Mohammed al-Salaimah  said that  he and his brother  started constructing a 2-story building in Wadi Qadoum neighborhood and each floor has one apartment  (80 sqm). In the meantime, the Israeli municipality stormed the construction area and issued  a demolition decision under the pretext of building without licensing, thus, the 2 siblings stopped the construction. Al-Salaimah added that he intended to prepare his apartment to live in it after his marriage. However, he and his brother had to self-demolish their houses with hand tools to avoid paying more fines and the demolition costs for the municipality, which exceed NIS 100,000. It should be noted that the construction process cost al-Salaimah siblings about NIS 170,000, most of it was lent.

  • At approximately 11:00 on Sunday, 13 September 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers stormed Labid area, south of Araqah, adjacent to the annexation wall, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. IOF the village’s Council from completing the construction of a 200-meter long  Labid Road  that was cut off by the annexation wall  since its establishment in 2003, as the council started working on it 3 days ago. This road links between Araqah village and Ya’bad and Khirbat et Tarim villages and serves villages in west of Jenin  by connecting it with Nablus, Jenin and Tulkarm. IOF also detained workers for some time before they take over a bulldozer owned by Maher Mohammed Hasan Abu Asab, from al-Yamoun village, west of Jenin, under the pretext of illegal work in Area (C). The bulldozer  was used in favor of Araqah Village’s Council.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 14 September 2020, Israeli Municipality crews stormed several neighborhoods in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem and distributed summonses and demolition notices to several facilities, including al-Qa’qa’ Mosque in Ein al-Louza neighborhood in Silwan in the abovementioned village, under the pretext without licensing. Eyewitnesses said that the Municipality crews accompanied with Israeli police officers stormed Kuroum Qamar Ein al-Fuqa, and Abu Tayeh neighborhoods in the village. They also served  demolition notices at several facilities, including the house of the Secretary of Fatah Movement, Ahmed al-Abbasi, which is established for more than 20 years, and a 35-square-meter house owned by Iyad al-Abasi in Ein al-Fuqa area, which is established for more than 12 years. The Municipality crews also hanged a decision to demolish al-Qa’qa’ Mosque in Ein al-Louza and gave the residents 21 days to challenging the decision and if they did not challenge it and attend the court’s session, the court will implement the demolition decision within a month. Sheikh Hani Abu Dayyah, Emam of al-Qa’qa’ Mosque said to PCHR’s fieldworker  the he was surprised with the demolition decision set by the Israeli Municipality officers in the  mosque under the pretext of not paying the imposed fines on the Mosque construction. Sheikh Hani emphasized that constructing the mosque does not require a license from Israeli Municipality  and he did not receive any financial fine so he would pay it. He added that the mosque was established 8 years and was reconstructed and expanded 3 years ago with a distance of 110 sqm. The mosque is built of bricks and include a prayer hall for men and a bathroom  as hundreds of worshipers pray in it. The mosque that is necessary for the area was built from the residents’ donations.
  • At the same time, IOF backed by a military construction vehicle accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration officers stormed At-Tuwani village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The soldiers deployed between civilians’ houses while the Civil Administration officers gave 3 demolition notices that included:
  1. An under-construction house built on 60 square meters owned by Mosab Mor Rab’ie.
  2. An under-construction house built on 50 square meters owned by Mahmoud No’man Abu Aram.
  3. A livestock barn built of tin plates on an area of 80 square meters owned by Mohammed Essa Rab’ie.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF reinforced with a military construction vehicle accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration officers stormed Khelat Taha area, south of Dura, southwest of Heborn. The Civil Administration officer photographed  a number of under-construction residential buildings in the area and fixed on their walls 6 demolition notices with the number (1779). These notices give civilians 4 days to complete their legal affairs before the demolition is implemented.

The military decision No. (1797) issued in 2018, allows the Civil Administration officer to issue a decision to demolish of remove any building where construction was not completed within 6 months or it was inhabited by it residents for less than 30 days from the date of the inspector’s arrival to the site.

This kind of notices deprive civilians their right to defend their houses or facilities. The Israeli Supreme Court also refuse the file an appeal to freeze or cancel these notices. Civilians further are  denied of applying a license for their targeted houses due to the short legal period allowed by the military order. The following notices are included:

Affected PersonsTargeted Facility
Mohammed Mahmoud Qatil200-square-meter land prepared to build a house on it
Dura MunicipalityElectricity network with 300 meters long / plastic water tank
Mofeed Abdul Rahman HamdanUnder-construction house built on 70 meters and inhabited by family of 8 individuals
Mofeed Abdul Rahman HamdanConcrete floor prepared for building a house
Mofeed Abdul Rahman Hamdan150-square-meter land
Mofeed Abdul Rahman Hamdan150-square-meter land
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF stormed the land threatened to be confiscated near Khirbet Jubara village, in Tulkarm. IOF confiscated a bulldozer owned by Yazan Mesbah Masarwah, from Faroun village, while he was working in the area and handed him a notice to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service.
  • In the evening hours, the Israeli Supreme Court issued a decision against Ezzat Salah’s family to evacuate their house in Wadi Helwah in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem in favor of “Elad” Settlement Association.
  • The family’s lawyer, Nael al-Rashed, said to PCHR that the Israeli Supreme Court gave Salah family until 05 November 2020, to implement the eviction decision. The court also decided to compensate the family as a protected tenant with a sum of NIS 361,000. Al-Rashed explained that the “Elad” Settlement Association managed  to seize most of the property  after they bought it except for the Salah family’s apartment, which was classified as a “protected tenant”, has lived since 1968.

Al-Rashed added that the Magistrate’s Court, the District Court, and the Supreme Court issued a decision in favor of “Elad” Settlement Association to evict the family from their house even though it is a “protected tenant,” based on laws that enable the property owner to evict the tenants, when needed when they are not able to use of benefit from it if the Salah family stayed in the house as the room and the apartment share the same entrance of the house and the room has no benefits according to “Elad” Settlement Association’s claims.

The house owner, Ezzat Salah, said that during the past years, he was subjected to financial temptations and harassments from settlers, in an attempt to force him to give up his house where he lived for decades.

  • In the same day evening, Walid Mousa Abu Edahim implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished residential building in Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of building without licensing. Walid said that he returned to Jerusalem in 1998 from Jordan where he was settled after his brother’s death by drowning to raise his orphan children. Therefore, he built a residential building in 2000 so his family and his brother family live in it. Abu Edhaim emphasized that the building was built on 500 square meters and comprised of 2 floors; 4 apartments and 3 stores. He added that he received a demolition notice in 2004 under the pretext of building without licensing. Since that date until 2018, Abu Edhaim sought to obtain a license, but to no avail. That cost him more than NIS 700,000 ( U.S $ 200,00) distributed on fines and lawyers’ fees and litigation procedures.

Abu Edahim pointed out that the Israeli court gave him time to 2019, to complete his affairs and obtain a license for his house, but to no vain. Therefore, he was given the option  either to allow the Israeli Municipality to destroy the house and pay NIS150,000 fine for the demolition costs or to demolish his house by himself. Therefore, he had to self-demolish his building. Abu Edahim said that before the demolition his family, his brother’s family, his married son, and another tenant ( about 22 person ) lived in the house and all of them now became homeless without a shelter.

  • On the same evening, Osamah Taleb Zahaika implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished his house in al-Mokaber Mount neighborhood, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of building without a licensing. Zahaika said that he built his 79-square-meter house in 2014 from bricks and tin plate. The house was comprised of 2 rooms and their benefits where Zahaika, his wife and 3 children live in. Zahaika emphasized that the Israeli Municipality pursued him few year ago and imposed a fine of NIS 25,000. He attempted to obtain construction license, but in vain. Therefore, Zahaika had to self-demolish his house after the Israeli police raided his house and notified him of the demolition decision and gave him one day to implement it.
  • On Tuesday evening, 15 September 2020, Saoud Adnan al-Qanbar implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished his house in al-Mokaber Mount neighborhood, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of building without a licensing. Al-Qanbar said that he built his 100 square-meter house in 2015, which was comprised of 3 rooms, a living room, kitchen, and bathroom where he, his wife and his 6 children ( the eldest one is 16 years old and the youngest one is 3 years old) lived in it. Al-Qanbar emphasized  that the Israeli Municipality pursued him few months after  his house was built. In 2018, the Israeli Municipality issued a demolition  decision and imposed a fine of NIS 45,000. Al-Qanbar added that  during the past five years, he attempted to obtain a construction license  and paid  NIS 80,000 for the lawyer and engineer, but in vain. He also said that he had to self-demolish his house  after the Israeli police raided his house two days ago and threatened him if he did not self-demolish his house, he would pay a fine of NIS 90,000 for the Israeli Municipality.
  • Also on Tuesday evening, IOF stopped the work on a road rehabilitation project that links between Kisan village and al-Rashayida village, east of Bethlehem, and confiscated a bulldozer. Ahmed Ghazal, Head of Kisan Village’s Council, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that IOF stopped the work  in a road rehabilitation project that links between a common cemetery for Kisan and al-Rashayida villages  and confiscated a bulldozer under the pretext of non-licensing and  the road is located in Areas (C) that is under full Israeli control .

 VI. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

Gaza Strip:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. Of all the Gaza Strip’s border crossings, only 2 currently function: Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) for movement of goods and Beit Hanoun (Erez) for movement of individuals. The Israeli authorities continued to impose restrictions on the entry of goods classified as “dual-use items”, despite their importance in reviving the market, manufacturing and maintenance. As to Beit Hanoun crossing, it is almost completely closed except for emergency humanitarian cases. Lately, a very limited number of individual cases of patients who have obtained medical referrals and financial coverage to Israel were able to travel, and some others referred to Israeli organizations working in the field of health for assistance in coordination.

For the fourth consecutive week, curfew is still imposed on the Gaza Strip to contain the outbreak of coronavirus, especially after coronavirus cases were confirmed outside the quarantine centers in the Gaza Strip. As a result, the suffering of Gaza Strip population has increased, and there are warns of catastrophic deterioration in their living conditions, especially if the state of emergency is maintained for a lengthy period without establishing mechanisms to protect the poor, unemployed and day laborers, and support low-income households who lost their incomes due to the state of emergency and curfew.

West Bank:

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. IOF established 70 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 5 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

  • On Friday, 11 September 2020, IOF established a military checkpoint at the entrance to Anata village, north east of occupied East Jerusalem.
  • On Wednesday, 16 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (29 July – 12 August 2020)

Weekly Reports – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Israeli Violations of Human Rights

29 July – 12 August 2020

  • Palestinian woman killed and 19 civilians, including 2 paramedics, shot and wounded, in IOF excessive use of force:
    • 9 injuries were documented in IOF suppression of Kufuor Qaddoum, Qalqilya protests;
    • 7 injured, including 2 paramedics, in IOF suppression of a protest in Tarmesi’yah; and
    • 2 other injuries in Nablus and Tulkarm.
  • 23 shootings reported at agricultural land; and twice s at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip;
  • In 176 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 160 civilians arrested, including 9 children and 4 women;
  • IOF harden closure restrictions over the Gaza Strip, as its sole commercial crossing is closed, and the fishing area is reduced to 8 nautical miles;
  • IOF warplanes strike Gaza Strip;
  • 11 houses demolished, including 7 self-demolished, in occupied East Jerusalem; multiple demolition and cease-construction notices served in the West Bank;
  • 4 construction vehicles and 3 water pumps confiscated, and agricultural lands confiscated, and others razed in the West Bank;
  • Settler-attacks in the West Bank: 3 siblings, a woman and 2 children, wounded in Hebron and arsenal attacks on 2 vehicles in Qalqilya;
  • IOF established 57 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 15 Palestinians on said checkpoints

Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians. IOF did not restrict its attacks during the days Palestinian Muslims celebrated Eid al-Adha holiday. During the reporting period, IOF killed a Palestinian woman and wounded 19 others across the West Bank. PCHR asserts that IOF used lethal force when they withdrew from the area without the presence of any threat or danger to soldiers’ lives. This falls within the shoot first and justify later policy that IOF have consistently implemented against Palestinian civilians. Furthermore, IOF warplanes launched several airstrikes against the Gaza Strip, while they mainly bombarded agricultural lands that did not render human loss, the airstrikes terrorized and frightened the civilian population in targeted areas.

Ever since announcing its plans to annex West Bank territories, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF has continued systematic demolitions and land razing, establishing roads for settlements in an accelerated manner. The past two weeks witnessed widescale demolitions of houses and agricultural lands in the West Bank.

This week, PCHR documented 303 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt. It should be noted that the limitations due to the corona virus pandemic, including closure of certain territories, has limited PCHR’s fieldworkers mobility and ability to conduct field documentation; therefore, the information documented in this report are only part of the continued IOF violations.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: On 07 August 2020, IOF killed Dalia Ahmed Suliman Stiti (24) with a live bullet that hit her chest as she was shutting her window in Jenin, northern West Bank. Furthermore, IOF shot and wounded 19 Palestinians: 9 injured in excessive use of force against the weekly peaceful protest in Kufuor Qaddoum in Qalqilya; 7 others in IOF suppression of a protest in Tarmesi’yah, northern Ramallah, including 2 paramedics. Two others were wounded in separate incidents: a Palestinian was shot and wounded as IOF shot him directly before his arrest in Nablus; and another was shot during a shooting near the Annexation Wall in Tulkarm.

In Gaza, IOF opened fire at agricultural lands 23 times and twice at fishing boats in eastern ang western Gaza Strip. IOF warplanes also launched several airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 176 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 160 Palestinians were arrested, including 9 children and 4 women. IOF also conducted two limited incursions into eastern Khan Younis and northern Gaza Strip.

Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: IOF continued its settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented 33 violations, including:

  • East Jerusalem: agricultural room demolished, as well as 11 houses, including 7 self-demolished;
  • Bethlehem: cease-construction notices served to 2 houses and 100 olive tree seedlings uprooted;
  • Hebron: demolition of a wall and a 100 sqm floor; also, a tin-plated brick home demolished; 3 water pumps confiscated; military watchtower established on Palestinian civilians’ lands; tent and barn demolished;
  • Northern Valley: 2 tractors confiscated; and demolition notices served to several houses and facilities;
  • Jenin: 9 cease-construction and demolition notices served to over 200 years old buildings and caves; and other facilities, new housing buildings and water tanks;
  • Salfit: 15 dunums of agricultural lands owned by Palestinians confiscated; and 18 cease-construction notices served to 7 houses, including 3 under-construction, an agricultural room, a plastic house and land rehabilitation;
  • Ramallah: excavator confiscated in eastern Ramallah; two agricultural facilities demolished;
  • Tubas: excavator confiscated;
  • Jericho: approximately 100 palm tree seedlings razed and uprooted;
  • Kisan village: over 200 dunums of the village’s lands confiscated;
  • Qalqilya: agricultural lands razed as prelude to their confiscation in Kafr Thulth village, eastern Qalqilya.

PCHR also documented 4 settler attacks: 10 sheep dead in Ramallah; 3 siblings, a woman and 2 children, wounded and bruised in settlers’ attack on Tel Rumeida neighbourhood in central Hebron; 2 cars set on fire and a vehicle assaulted and its windshield broken in Nablus.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

On Monday, 10 August 2020, Israeli authorities  announced the closure of Karm Abu Salem crossing starting from Tuesday, 11 August 2020 and until further notice, except for the transportation of goods for vital humanitarian cases and fuel. According to Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the decision was taken “in response to the launch of incendiary balloons and breaching security calm.” On Wednesday evening, 12 August 2020, IOF announced reducing the Gaza Strip’s fishing area from 15 to 8 nautical miles.

This decision falls under the framework of the complete, illegal and unhumanitarian closure policy imposed by the Israeli authorities on the Gaza Strip since June 2007, as the  Gaza Strip crossings have witnessed tightened restrictions on the movement of goods and persons.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.

  1. Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity
  1. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
  • At approximately 09:30 on Wednesday, 29 July 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence , east of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands. The shooting continued sporadically for 15 minutes. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 30 July 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed  along the border fence, northeast of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 31 July 2020, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established on lands of Kafer Qaddoum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest in which dozens of civilians participated. IOF chased Palestinian young men who gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, 7 civilians were shot with rubber bullets throughout their bodies.
  • At approximately 00:10 on Sunday, 02 August 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of al-Qararah village, adjacent to the border fence. The shooting recurred twice at 16:20 and 21:20 on the same day, east of Khuza’ah village. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 00:20 on Monday 03 August 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed adjacent to Khan Younis shore, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area. Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and ad to sail back to the shore, fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • After 20 minutes, an Israeli military warplane launched 2 missiles at an agricultural land in al-Qrarah village, northeast of Khan Younis. The attack caused a large hole in the land. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 02:20 on the same Monday, IOF stormed al-‘Aqrabaniyah village, northeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They surrounded Abdul Rahman Husni Husein Jbarah’s (23) house. Jbarah managed to leave the house before IOF, who claim that he is wanted for them,  raided it. IOF chased Jbarah, who was about 400 meters away from the house. They took over a civilian vehicle, and opened fire at him, wounding him while he was at the vehicle’s back chair. IOF  arrested Jbarah, who was wounded and bleeding from his face, taking him to an unknown destination, the vehicle’s windshield was shattered after the shooting, causing wounds to its driver, Abdullah Ammar “Mohammed Basem” al-Sha’ar (20), and his cousin Ezz Eden Amed “Mohammed Basem” al-Sha’ar (17), who was accompanying him, with minor wounds. IOF  arrested Abdullah and Ezz Eden al-Sha’ar and took them to a military camp, adjacent to al-Hamrah checkpoint. Al-Sha’ar civilians were interrogated about their relationships of Jbarah. IOF released al-Sha’ar civilians at 07:00 on the same day morning after ensuring that there is no relationship between them and Jbarah. Jbarah was wounded in his face and is health condition is serious. Jbarah was transferred to New Rehabilitation Hospital Tel HaShomer.
  • At approximately 23:30 on the same Monday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Tuesday, 04 August 2020, a large Israeli military force stormed Aqabet Jaber refugee camp, southwest of Jericho in the center of the West Bank. A number of Palestinian young men gathered in the vicinity of the camp and threw stones at Israeli soldiers while the later responded with a barrage of rubber bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas canisters. As a result, 2 civilias were shot with rubber bullets in their lower extremities. They were transferred to Jericho Hospital in the city for medical treatment. In the meantime, Israeli soldiers raided and searched several houses and arrested Ali Mohammed Raslan (26) and Ayman Hekmat al-Ewadat (57). In the evening hours, IOF released al-Ewadat.
  • At approximately 16:15 on the same Tuesday IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:40 on Wednesday, 05 August 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of Palestinian farmers. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 17:45 on the same Wednesday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence. The shooting recurred in the same area at 21:00 on the same day evening. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 06 August 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Gaza Valley (Juhor al-Deek), south of Gaza City, opened fire at agricultural lands. Neither casualties nor material damage were reported.
  • At approximately 19:30 on the same Thursday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village. No casualties were reported.
  • In the early dawn hours on Friday, 07 August 2020, a Palestinian woman was killed by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) after being shot with a live bullet in her chest while closing the window in her house in Jenin, northern West Bank. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) points out that IOF used lethal force when they withdrew from the area without the presence of any threat or danger to soldiers’ lives. This falls within the shoot first and justify later policy that IOF have consistently implemented against Palestinian civilians.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 02:30 on Friday, IOF moved into al-Jabriyat neighborhood, southwest of Jenin, northern West Bank. They surrounded Khaled Suliman Abu Hasan’s house near al-Riyad School. IOF interrogated Abu Hasan inside his house until 04:00.  Five minutes later, while Israeli military vehicles were preparing to withdraw, IOF fired a sound bomb and several live bullets at Bassam Samodi’s 3-storey house. As a result, Samodi’s wife, Dalia Ahmed Suliman Stiti (24), was injured and shot with a live bullet in her chest, penetrating her liver, pancreas, and aorta.  Stiti’s family said to PCHR’s fieldworker that their daughter Dalia, a mother of two (9-month, 2 years), woke up after hearing IOF’s incursion into the village. She headed towards the living room’s window to close it after IOF fired a sound bomb. In the meantime, IOF stationed on the street, 50 meters away from Stiti’s house, opened fire at her on her 3rd floor apartment, wounding her in the chest. Stiti walked several steps and then fell to the living room floor in a pool of her blood. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS)’s crew, who were in the area to rescue the injuries, immediately arrived at the house and took Stiti to Dr. Khalil Suliman Hospital. Stiti was admitted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU), due to her critical health condition and she was pronounced dead at 14:30.

Ayman Mohammed Abu Qabilah (31), the ambulance diver who transferred Stiti, said that he heard a sound of a bomb explosion followed by 4 live bullets from the area where IOF stationed, 50 meters away from where he was present in front of Smoudi family’s house. After that Qabilah felt that the ambulance was targeted. In the meantime, he heard the residents screaming they had an injury in the house, so he rushed to the house along with other paramedics to find out that the injured civilian was Dalia Stiti and her injury was serious. The ambulance was also targeted with 2 live bullets; one of them penetrated from the left side to the paramedic’s chair; while the other bullet penetrated the driver’s chair.

  • At approximately 07:50 on Friday, 07 August 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at agricultural lands, east of al-Qararah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:00 on the same Friday, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established on lands of Kafer Qaddoum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a peaceful protest in which dozens of civilians participated. IOF chased young men who gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a civilian was shot with a rubber bullet in his thigh.
  • At approximately 13:30 on the same Friday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00 on the same Friday, IOF suppressed a peaceful in Tarmesi’yah village, northeast of Ramallah in the center of the West Bank. The protest took off from the center of the village into its main entrance in protest against the Israeli settlement expansion in the area. IOF used excessive force injuring 7 civilians, including 2 paramedics:
  1. Hamzah Mohammed Ma’ali (27), paramedic at Al-Asmar Emergency Medical Service, was hit with a tear gas canister in his face.
  2. Mohammed Malash (29), paramedic at the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, was shot with a rubber bullet in his foot and a tear gas canister in his face. Other civilians sustained rubber bullets in their lower extremities.
  • At approximately 08:40 on Saturday, 08 August 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at agricultural lands, east of al-Fukhari, adjacent to the border fence. The shooting recurred at 17:30 in eastern Abasan village, east of Khan Younis. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 17:00 on the same Saturday, 08 August 2020, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established at lands of Kafer Qaddoum village, north of Qalqiliyah, suppressed a peaceful protest in which dozens of civilians participated. IOF chased young men who gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a 44-year-old civilian was shot with a rubber bullet in his back and a 22-year-old civilian was shot with a rubber bullet in his thigh.
  • At approximately 19:05, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (at 3 nautical miles) and pumped water at them. Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 07:25 on Sunday, 09 August 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, adjacent to Buret Abu Samrah, north of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands adjacent to the border fence. As a result, Palestinian farmers panicked and had to leave their lands fearing for their lives. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 08:00 on the same Sunday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 00:20 on the same Sunday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:50 on the same Sunday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands for 15 minutes. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:30 on Monday, 10 August 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:30 on Tuesday, 11 August 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah and al-Fukhari villages, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 00:30 on the same Tuesday, IOF stationed at the annexation wall gates established on lands of Faroun village, south of Tulkarm, fired live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians, who attempted to pass through the gate. As a result, a 24-year-old civilian, from Qifin village, north of Tulkarm, was shot with a rubber bullet in his right hand.
  • At approximately 18:15 on Wednesday, 12 August 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the border area, adjacent to the border fence. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  1. Incursions and arrests:

Wednesday, 29 July 2020:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and arrested two civilians: Saleh Ayed al-Rajabi (33) and Nabeeh Nabil al-Sharbati (28).
  • At approximately 01:50, IOF moved into ‘Aseera al-Shamaleya village, north of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Hamza Abdullah Mohammed Yasine (26).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Talouza, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested three civilians; Fares Rasheed Hashayka (24), Mohammed Emad Hanajera (23), and Nabeel Kamel Dababseh (45).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Murad Khaled al-Hayek (28) and Ahmed Salah al-Sar’awi (26) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into ‘Anata village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Khaleel Ahmed Hilwa and Mohammed Hasan Hilwa, and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Kherbet Makhoul village in the northern valleys, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Abdul Raheem Bsharat (55), and his son Sakher (25).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Tulkarm refugee camp, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Ahmed Hasan Matrouk’s (48) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Nour Shams refugee camp, in Tulkarm, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Mahmoud Ahmed al-Izza’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Wadi al-Joz neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Hanadi Mohammed al-Halawani’s (41) house and arrested her. After a few hours, IOF released her on condition of paying (1,000 NIS), and banning her entry to the occupied East Jerusalem for 3 weeks. It should be noted that al-Halawani is a former prisoner and she is a teacher who was banned from entering the Aqsa Mosque several times.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Saf street, in the Central Bethlehem. They raided and searched Salah Awwad Jawarish’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:10, IOF moved into Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (5) civilians; Basem Ghassan al-‘Ataba (33), Alaa Mohammed al-Shubairy (36), Mo’ath Ahmed Mousa (29), Alaa (Mohammed Eyad) Fatayer (22), and Abbas Sulaiman (Mohammed kamal) Fatayer (37).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Asem Anan Fawzi Bushkar (17), and his brother Isalm (21).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Jabal Hendaza area, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Hasan Nawawera (30), and Salah Yousef al-‘Abayat (26), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 06:35, IOF reinforced with several military bulldozers, moved 100-meters to the east of ‘Abasan village, east of Khan Younis. They leveled and combed lands along the border fence before they redeployed.
  • At approximately 06:50, IOF stationed at Beit Fouriq military checkpoint, northeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank, arrested Foad Fawwaz Fawzi Hanani (25), from the village. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 09:10, IOF stationed at ‘Awarta military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank, arrested Khaled Jamal Abu al-So’oud (17). IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • In the morning hours, IOF stationed at Salem military court’s gate, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank, arrested Muhanna Khaled al-Sharqaqi (44), from al-Zababeda village, northeast of Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 14:20, IOF moved into Kherbat al-Hadedeya in the northern valleys, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ashraf Husain Busharat (40).
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into Abu Mish’al neighborhood, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched three houses and arrested three civilians before they released them after three hours. The arrestees are: Mohammed Abdul Hafiz Zahran (23), Husain Hasan Zahran (26), and Samhan Abdul Salam Zahran (24).
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Rujeib village, southeast of Nablus; Dura and al-Thahereya, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Thursday, 30 July 2020:

  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into Rujeib village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Dawoud Akram Rawajba (44).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Isalem Majdi Qadah (17).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into ‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Mus’ab Mohammed Kawamla’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:50, IOF moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Waleed Jamal ‘Aseeda (23) and Mahmoud Musatafa ‘Aseeda (29).
  • At approximately 03:05, IOF moved into Salim village, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mus’ab ‘Akef Shtayyeh (25) and Obaida Kamal Jabbour (28).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Khaled Ali Swailem (22) and Abdul Haq Mazen Khadraj (22) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Salfit. They raided and searched Abdul Rahim Tayseer Shaheen’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF arrested two of the Aqsa Mosque’s guards, Mohannad al-Ansari (38) and Mohammad Zughaiar (32), while on duty at the mosque in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took them to al-Qishla police station in the city and released them after several hours on condition of banning their entry to the mosque for a week.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of Jet village, northeast of Qalqilya, and arrested Mus’ab Mousa Mir’ai (22), from Qarawat Bani Hasan, west of Salfit.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Silat ad-Dhahr and Zububa villages in Jenin governorate, Hebron and Yatta in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 31 July 2020:

  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in al-Thaheriya, al-Samoua’, and Deir Sammit villages in Hebron governorate, and Az-Zawiya village, west of Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 01 August 2020:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Hebron. They raided and searched Omar Maher Obaid’s (35) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Rummana, Zububa and Ya’bad villages in Jenin governorate, Sa’eer, Mowreq, and Sourif in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 02 August 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Omar Yaser Shwaiky’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 06:50, IOF moved into Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested three children; Islam Kamel Abu Shamala (17), Ahmed Yousef Abu Bakr (17), and Nabeel Na’el Abu Baker (17).
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Sameer Najeeb (26) while present in al-Wad neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods, and took him to al-Qishla police station. IOF released him after several hours on condition that banning his entry to the Aqsa Mosque for 6 months.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF moved into al-Fureidis village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Hazem Hashem Abu Muhaimed’s house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Zububa village, west of Jenin; Sa’eer, Nouba, al-Hadab, and al-‘Aroub refugee camp in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 03 August 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Issaweya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Bassam Alian (22) and Faisal Loay Obaid (19) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Adam Qara’een’s (18) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Aseera al-Shamaleya, north of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians and released them after several hours. The arrestees are: Abdul Aziz Amer Rawajeba (22), Fares Bassam al-Shouly (30), Ja’far Omar Rawajeba (26), and Oqba Fayez al-Shouly (28).
  • At approximately 11:50, IOF stationed at bypass road, northeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank, arrested Mo’tasem Husni Abu Hanana (34), from Arana village. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF stationed at al-Container military checkpoint, east of Bethlehem, arrested Hussam Hasan Abu Husain, from Hebron, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF stationed at Shu’fat refugee camp checkpoint, arrested Ahmed Abu Salah and Mohammed Abu Zaki, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into al-Wad neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Zakareya al-Bakri’s (18) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Sa’eer, Nouba, al-Hadab, and al-‘Aroub refugee camp in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 04 August 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Issaweya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Kathem Monther Obaid’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Rasheed Ali Awad’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF arrested Nafisa Mohammed Khwais (68), while present in the Aqsa Mosque’s yard in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took her to “Bab al-Asbat” police station.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Ourif village, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yousef Omar Shehada (35) and Mohannad Faleh Shehada (26).
  • At approximately 02:40, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched Fadi Omar Abu Snaina’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:45, IOF moved into al-Zababeda village, southeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ameer Issam al-Sharkawi (21).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Jinan neighborhood, in the Central al-Beira, north of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched Faraj Ali al-Qadi’s house and arrested her daughter Tasnim (28). IOF also handed him a summons to let his son, Mustafa (20), refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in Ofer detention.
  • At approximately 15:50, IOF stationed at “Mevo Dotan” military checkpoint, west of ‘Arraba, southwest of Jenin, arrested Montaser Ahmed Samadi (24), from Qabatiya, southeast of the city. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into al-Izareya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Alaa Ayman al-Sharbati’s (29) store and arrested him. It should be noted that Alaa is Ayman al-Sharbati’s son who is sentenced to life.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF arrested Mustafa Faraj al-Qadi (20), while referring to the Israeli Intelligence Services in Ofer detention, in Bitounya, west of Ramallah.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Deir Samit and Sourif in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 05 August 2020:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians: Ahmed Mohammed Abu Amro (20), Salim Ali Mouh (23) and Bilal Ra’ed Sidr (22).
  • At approximately 01:45, IOF moved into Kafr Qalil, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians: Mohannad Ali Qanni (28), Khaled Na’eem Qanni (34), Ali Yehya Qanni (25), and Sharif Bassam Mansour (30).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Daheya neighborhood, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Aziz Omar Dwaikat (36).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Dura, southwest of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Hasan Ahmed Hijja’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and arrested three civilians: Jehad Isma’el al-Najjar (24), Mohammed Faisal al-Najjar (25), and Mo’ath Yousef al-Najjar (23).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Abu Fraiha neighborhood in Beit Sahour. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Tareq Mousa al-‘Abayat (35) and Mohammed Ibarhim al-‘Abayat (40) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Deir al-Hatab, northeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Oday Ra’ouf Hussain (28).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Sinjil village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Hisham Adel Fuqaha (27) and Yasin Ibrahim Fuqaha (23) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yazan Ahmed Ba’jawi (23), a student at al-Najah National University in Nablus.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Izza refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Abdul Fattah Shu’aib Abu Shu’aira’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30. IOF moved into Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Hakim Khaleel Fuqaha (28), from his house near al-Furqan Mosque, north of the city. It should be noted that Hakim is a person with disable.
  • At approximately 04:50, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into al-Jalazon refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Tahreer Mahmoud Zeid (24) and Reyad Ramadan Alian (29).
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF summonsed the teacher Hanadi Mohammed al-Halawani (41), who is a former prisoner in the Israeli prisons, via a phone call to immediately refer to al-Qishla investigation center in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. As soon as she arrived, she was handed a decision that banning her travel abroad for 4 more months.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF stationed at al-Mahkama military checkpoint, near “Beit Eil” settlement, north of al-Beira, arrested Bashar Mohammed Safi (22), from Ramallah. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF stationed at al-Container military checkpoint, east of Bethlehem, arrested the student Mohammed Ali al-Takrouri (22), Chairman of the Student Union at al-Quds Open University, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF stationed at Beit Fourik military checkpoint, on the northeastern entrance of Nablus, north of the West Bank, arrested three civilians from Balata refugee camp, east of the city, and took them to unknown destinations. The arrestees are: Adham Eyad Mustafa (22), Ameed Zeyad Mustafa (19), and Mohammed Ramadan Mustafa (20).
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Kafr Qaddoum, northeast of Qalqilya. No arrests were reported.

Thursday, 06 August 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Mohammed Izz al-Dein Teilekh (16) and Yousef Osama al-‘Anati (17).
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into Izbat al-Ashkar village, south of Qalqilya. They raided and searched Anwar Fares Nimir’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into al-Samoua’ village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Saleh Isma’el al-Badareen’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Sa’eer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Qutaiba Idris Jaradat’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Ein Arik village, west of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched Wasfi Nafiz Zeita’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Masakn al-Sha’beya neighborhood, northeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Najeh Samara’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Ahmed Taleb Haj Mohammed’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Beit Loqya village, west of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched Mo’tasem Ali Dar Assi’s (32) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Beit Sira village, west of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched Owda Mohammed al-Haj’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:40, IOF moved into Beit Ur al-Tahta village, west of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched Saad Asaad Dar Mousa’s (34) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Shu’fat refugee camp, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Rayan Emran Alqam (22) and Mohammed Ismael ‘Anati (17), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into butchery shop in Dowar al-Daheya neighborhood in Beit Hanina, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched the shop and arrested the son of the shop owner, al-Miqdad Eisa Qirsh. IOF took him to an unknown destination.

Friday, 07 August 2020:

  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched Omar Saleh Nayef Abu al-Rab’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Mohammed Naser Mahfouz’s (10) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Hindaza area, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohmmed Ateya Soboh’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Kamal Issa Dababesa’s (35) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Faqou’a village, northeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Ameer Monther Massad’s (28) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into al-Dheesha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Hamza Bilal al-Dibis’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into Wadi Qana village, to the west of Deir Estia village, north of Salfit. They raided the village and arrested Yousef Ahmed Ridwan (27), from Azoun village, east of Qalqilya, while he was on a hiking trip.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Ethna, Sourif, Nouba, and Karma villages. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 08 August 2020:

  • IOF carried out an incursion in al-Jarousheya village, north of Tulkarm. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 09 August 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Kherbet Um al-Kheir, to the east of Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Eid Yamen al-Hathalin’s (74) house and took him to Karmi’el settlement and released him after two hours.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Hizma village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Laith Malek Subaih’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into Faqou’a village, northeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested three civilian who were arrested before. The arrestees are: Sayaf Khaleel Massad (34), Melad Fo’ad Massad (48), and Mohammed Jamal Arram (35).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Beitillu village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched Naser Mohammed Abu Zeyada’s (47) house, the chairman of the village council, and arrested him. IOF released him after several hours.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Samoua’ village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Yousef Mohammed Mahaiq’s house and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 03:50, IOF moved into al-Janeya village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched Ashraf Mohammed Mazloum’s (43) house and arrested him. After three hours, IOF released him.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in al-Thahereya and Tarqoumya. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 10 August 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Issaweya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians including a child. The arrestees are: Alaa Ahmed Dirbas (18), Fares Yaser Darwish (19), Tayseer Yousef Muhaisen (16), and Mohammed Nidal Abu Akar (20).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Ein al-Sultan refugee camp, northwest of Jericho governorate. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ya’qoub Abu Lawi (26) and Ehab al-Kalouni (28) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF moved into Daheyat al-Salam in Shu’fat refugee camp, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Omar al-‘Anati’s (23) house and arrested him.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020:

  • At approximately 00:15, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of Deir Sharaf village, west of Nablus, arrested Ali Abu Sitta (26), from Bal’a village, north of Tulkarm. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Yatta village, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Faisal Mohammed al-Najjar’s (45) house and arrested him along with his wife, Maha al-Najjar (38) and his two sons; Mohammed (20), and Mousa (19).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Qalqilya village. They raided and searched Ammar Yousef Dwaikat’s (32) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Halhoul, Hebron, and Nouba in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 12 August 2020:

  • At approximately 00:15, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Firas Abdul Khaleq (33), from Deir al-Ghossoun village, north of Tulkarm. IOF took him to an unknown destination before they released him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qafin village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Emad Ibrahim To’ma’s (48) house and arrested him. It should be noted that To’ma is the General Director of the Ministry of Prisoners and Executives Affairs in Tulkarm, and he is a former prisoner who spent 12-years in the Israeli prisons.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Duha village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Ahmed Abdul Hadi Shamroukh’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Qafin village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Mustafa Yousef To’ma’s (40) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Nour Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Fathi Qar’awi’s house, the deputy in the dissolved Legislative Council. IOF directly threatened him and his sons of arrest if they contacted with external authorities. No arrests were reported.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Deir al-Ghossoun village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Abdul Rahman Zeidan’s house, the deputy in the dissolved Legislative Council. IOF directly threatened him of arrest if he contacted with external authorities. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 08:45, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles to the north of Bouret Abu Samra area, north of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, and moved 100-meters to the south of the border fence. They leveled and combed lands that were previously leveled amidst Israeli sporadic shooting, which caused fear and panic among farmers. At approximately 10:30, IOF withdrew; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into al-Issaweya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Yousef Ali al-Kaswani’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF detained dozens of civilians after passing through a gate in the annexation wall established at Daheyat Shwaika village, in Tulkarm. IOF closed the gate and prevented civilians from entering it and released them later.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF arrested Ahmed Tawfiq Fuqaha (31), from ‘Anabta village, north of Tulkarm, while heading to the Israeli Intelligence Services’ headquarter.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested two female farmers behind the annexation wall established on al-Zaweya village, west of Salfit, and banned them from returning to their houses by closing the gate. The arrestees are: Hamda Shuqair (79) and Jazila Shuqair (77). IOF released them later.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into al-Mazra’a al-Gharbeya village, north of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians. The arrestees are: Azmi Sufian Shraiteh (24), Mousa Hasan Ladadwa (22), Mohammed Akram Ladadwa (26), and his brother Saif (19).
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Silwad, northeast of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Jalal Ra’ed Abdul Mo’ez (26) and Abdul Aziz Ahmed Soboh (23) and arrested them.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Tulkarm, Dura, and Imreish villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

  • Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property
  • At approximately 10:00 on Wednesday, 29 July 2020, IOF accompanied with military vehicles moved into Fraseen village, southwest of Jenin, where they distributed 9 cease-construction and demolition notices to old houses, caves and facilities built 200 years ago, in addition to new residential houses and water tanks. IOF ordered to implement the notices within few days. The distributed notices were as follows:
  • Khaled Mohammed ‘Amarnah’s 50 -square-meter room built of bricks and roofed with tin plates, 15- square-meter store and wood columns, in addition to handing him cease-construction notices to a chicken coop and sheep barrack.
  • ‘Emad Mahmoud ‘Amarnah’s 60-square-meter residential room built of bricks.
  • Mahmoud Ahmed ‘Amarnah’s 80- square-meter residential room built of bricks.
  • Wajdi Mohammed ‘Amarnah’s 60-square-meter residential room built of bricks.
  • Mohammed Jameel Hersha’s water tank that feeds the village.
  • Basel Fayiz ‘Amarnah’s 30-square-meter residential room, chicken coop, wood columns, 80-sqaure-meter sheep barrack, and 60-square-meter residential room.
  • Ahmed Mahmoud ‘Amarnah’s 150-square-meter cave.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 29 July 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Istiboul area in Yatta city, south of Hebron. IOF were deployed in the area while military construction vehicles demolished ‘Adnan ‘Imran Abu Isninah’s walls surrounded his 10 dunums, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. It should be noted that Israeli authorities handed Isninah a 96-hour demolition notice No. (1779), so there is not enough time to challenge before competent Israeli authorities.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF stationed on settlement road (90), which is adjacent to al-Zabidat village, north of Jericho, confiscated 2 diggers and prevented their owners from plowing their agricultural land. The confiscated diggers belong to Mohammed ‘Ali Mohammed Zobidat and Ahmed Mohammed Farhan Zobidat.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Beit ‘Awaa village, southwest of Hebron. IOF were deployed in the area while the military construction vehicles demolished foundations of a 100-square-meter house belonging to Mo’ath Hafiz Salem al-Sowati (22), under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that Israeli authorities handed al-Sowati a 96-hour demolition notice No. (1779). Al- Sowati’s house is located 200 square meters away from the annexation wall.
  • At approximately 20:00 on Wednesday, 29 July 2020, IOF moved into Rafat village, west of Salfit, where they distributed a military order to confiscate 15 dunums from Hariqat al-Hamyanah area, under the pretext of being in Area C. These dunums belong to Basem Sebti ‘Ayyash, Nasheet Sebti ‘Ayyash, ‘Abed al-Latif Sati ‘Ayyash, and ‘Amirah Sati ‘Ayyash. Nasheet Sebti ‘Ayyash said that: “ I have been working in this agricultural land (30 dunums) for 20 years and it belongs to me and my brothers. I planted it with olive trees years ago. The land is far from the annexation wall and it was the first time that Israeli authorities notified us, claiming that this land is a state-owned land. The Israeli allegations are not true, as I never had to stop planting or rehabilitating my land. The Israeli notice gave us 45 days to challenge before the competent Israeli authorities.”
  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 30 July 2020, IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Sahal area, which is adjacent to al-Moghair village. IOF confiscated Mohammed Naji al-Na’san’s digger while conducting excavation works in the area, under the pretext of illegal work in Area C.
  • At approximately 10:30 on Saturday, 01 August 2020, IOF moved into Kherbet ‘Atouf, southeast of Tubas, where they confiscated Za’ir Mostafa Bsharat’s digger while he was excavating a water line for the villagers.
  • At approximately 09:20 on Sunday, 02 August 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Kafur al-Deek village in western Salfit, where they distributed 9 cease-construction notices to 7 houses; 3 of them are under-construction, an agricultural room, and a greenhouse, under the pretext of being in Area C. The notified houses and properties belong to Islam ‘Abed al-Ghani, Ibrahim Naji, Hadi Naji, Ibrahim Taha, Tamer Taha, Naji Taha, Mahmoud Naji, Husam al-Deek, and Feras al-Deek. It should be noted that Israeli authorities gave them mentioned civilians until 11 August 2020 to challenge against the notices.
  • At approximately 09:40, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Khirbet ar-Ras al Ahmar in northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas, where they distributed demolition notices to houses, barracks and farms belonging to Mohammed ‘Issa Jahaleen, Jameel Suliman Bani ‘Odah and Saier Saqer Bani ‘Odah.
  • On Monday, 03 August 2020, Israeli authorities seized at least 200 dunums from Kisan village lands, east of Bethlehem. They also notified Hussain ‘Abdullah ‘Abiyat to demolish his barrack. Ahmed Ghazal, Head of the village council, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that IOF moved into al-Tina area, south of the village, and denied civilians’ access to their lands, under the pretext of confiscating the lands for military purposes. Also, IOF notified ‘Abiyat to demolish his livestock barrack and gave him 24 hours to leave, or he will be arrested and prosecuted.
  • On the same day, Eyad Abu Subeih implemented the Israeli Municipality order and self-demolished his house located in ‘Ein al-Jowizah neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Abu Subeih said that the Israeli Court issued a final demolition decision against his 110-square-meter house built 3 years ago and sheltered 10 persons. Abu Subeih clarified that last month, IOF raided and attacked his house several times, but the lawyer managed to delay the demolition decision.
  • At approximately 13:20 on 04 August 2020, IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Dir Balout village, west of Salfit, where they distributed 9 notices to uproot olive trees belonging to 8 families, under the pretext of being in Area C. In addition, IOF distributed another notice to stop reclaiming a plot of land in Ta’mor area. The notified lands belong to the heirs of: ‘Issa Hasan ‘Issa, ‘Abdullah Musa and Dar Damara.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 05 August 2020, Israeli bulldozers demolished 3 residential houses in ‘Ain al-Louza neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Khaled Abu Tayieh, Chairman of Silwan Land Defense Committee, said that Israeli municipality staff along with special Israeli forces and police officers moved into in ‘Ain al-Louza neighborhood, where they closed all entrances and stationed on streets. IOF then surrounded 3 houses belonging to al-Qaq and ‘Amro families and demolished them. Abu Tayieh clarified that Israeli bulldozers demolished Samer and Suliman al-Qaq’s 250-square-meter houses sheltering 10 persons; most of them are children. He added that regarding Shareef ‘Amro’s 50-square-meter house, which was built in 2000, Israeli authorities issued a demolition decision against ‘Amro’s house in 2010, but the demolition was delayed with paying a fine of NIS 5000. Ten days earlier, ‘Amro was informed about the final demolition decision.
  • In the morning, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Kherbet ‘Allan in al-Shofa area, north of al-Jeftlik village, north of Jericho. IOF were deployed in al-Kherba while the military construction vehicles uprooted at least Anwar Abu Joda’s 100 palm seedlings planted 2-4 years ago.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into al-‘Issaweya village, adjacent to al-Za’eem village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. IOF demolished 2 agricultural rooms built of bricks and tin plates and other sheds placed in agricultural lands. The agricultural rooms and sheds belong to ‘Obaid and Abu Jum’a families. Mohammed Abu al-Humus, Member of al-‘Issawiyia Follow-up Committee, said that IOF along with Beit Eill Municipality’s staff moved into agricultural lands reclaimed by Murad Anwar ‘Obaid and Mohammed ‘Ataa ‘Obaid, demolished sheds and a fence surrounding the lands, and leveled the lands. Abu al-Humus added that Israeli bulldozers also demolished 2 agricultural room belonging to ‘Obaid and Abu Jum’a families and confiscated agricultural tools. Abu al-Humus pointed out that these agricultural lands are threatened to be confiscated in favor of the settlement project “E1”.
  • On the same day, IOF accompanied with military construction vehicles moved into Rantees village, northwest of Ramallah, where they demolished agricultural facilities, under the pretext of non-licensing. The demolished facilities were as follows:
  1. Mostafa Jamal Hosha’s 60-square-meter agricultural facility built of bricks and wood, roofed with tin plates and used for planting vegetables and fruits.
  2. Mo’ath ‘Ayed al-Khatib’s 80-square-meter agricultural facility built of bricks and wood, roofed with tin plates and used for planting vegetables and fruits.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 06 August 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Wad Jehish area, west of Sosiya village, south of Yatta in southern Hebron. IOF were deployed in the area while the military construction vehicles demolished Hisham Khalil Nawaj’ah’s 40-square-meter house built of bricks and tin plates, under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that in June 2020, Israeli authorities handed Nawaj’aj a demolition notice, but he could not delay the demolition due to the closure of Israeli institution under the pretext of the outbreak of coronavirus.
  • On Friday, 07 August 2020, IOF distributed 2 cease-construction notices to inhabited houses in al-Minyia village, southeast of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Head of al-Minyia village council, Zayed Kawazbah, said that the notified 150-square-meter houses sheltering 14 persons belong to ‘Asaf and ‘Issa ‘Adel al-Faroukh.
  • On Friday, Nihad Subeih Shoqirat implemented the Israeli municipality decision and self-demolished his 2-storey house in al-Sal’a neighborhood in al-Mukaber Mount area, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Shoqirat said that he started to build his house in 2012 and he lived in it last year. During this period, he attempted to license the house, but the municipality refused and issued a demolition notice against it. Shoqirat clarified that during the past years, he managed to delay and freeze the demolition several times, but in July 2019 the municipality refused to delay the demolition. In April 2020, the Israeli municipality held another hearing, stressed the demolition against Shoqirat’s house and imposed a fine of NIS 145,000 on him. Shoqirat added that on 07 July 2020, he headed to the Israeli District Court to appeal the demolition decision, but in vain. The Israeli Municipality gave him a month to implement the demolition or it will do so and impose heavy fines on him. Shoqirat pointed out that he sold all his possessions and savings to build his house, which costs more than one million US dollars. He added that his 160-square-meter house sheltered 11 persons.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 10 August 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Kafur Thulth village, east of Qalqilya. They leveled agricultural lands and placed water pipes as a prelude to seize the area.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 10 August 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Thaghrah area, east of Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. IOF confiscated Moneer Hasan Barghith’s 3 water pumps used for irrigating crops and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etizon” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into al-Tawana village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. IOF, who were deployed in the village, established a military watchtower in a plot of land near “Hafat Ma’oun” settlement, which is established on Palestinians’ confiscated lands. Israeli authorities claimed that there was a military decision to establish the watchtower for military purposes.
  • On Monday, 10 August 2020, Khaled Abu Ta’ah implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished his house in al-Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Abu Ta’ah said that he built a new house a year and a half ago near his family’s house built since 1960. He added that the construction of his house took about two months, during which the Israeli municipality issued a demolition decision against it. He was able to postpone and freeze the decision, but the court issued the final decision last month and the municipality gave him a month to implement the demolition or it will do so. Abu Ta’ah clarified that he attempted to license the house several times, but in vain. He added that he and his family comprised of 8 members live in the old house, and he was forced to build the new 85-square-meter house for his son to live in it after he gets married. Abu Ta’ah said that he and his sons vacated the house and self-demolished it to avoid paying the demolition costs for the municipality staff.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 11 August 2020, Israeli bulldozers demolished a 2-storey residential facility sheltering 25 persons, in addition to a nearby residential apartment (120 sqm) belonging to al-Tahan family in Wadi Qaddoum neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Khaled Abu Taieh, Member of the Silwan Lands Defense Committee, said that the Israeli bulldozers and municipality staff raided al-Tahan family facility after completely surrounding it and then demolished it. Abu Taieh added that the 2-storey facility (400 sqm) belong to Wael, Nader and ‘Alaa al-Tahan. Wael al-Tahan said that he and his brothers built the facility in 1992 and after few months, the Israeli municipality issued a decision to seize lands from Ras al-‘Amoud and Wadi Qaddoum neighborhoods, under the pretext of being public utilities. Wael clarified that after several years, the Israeli municipality issued a demolition notice against their facility, under the pretext of non-licensing. In addition, the municipality notified his brothers that the land will be used for public utilities. Wael said that during the past years, he managed to delay the demolition several times and attempted  to license the house, but in vain. Also, the municipality imposed a fine of NIS 280,000 on his family, who attempted to license the house before building it, but the municipality refused. It should be noted that Israeli authorities escalated the demolition of houses in occupied East Jerusalem in 2020, as they demolished over 90 facilities, including buildings, residential houses, agricultural and commercial facilities, walls, and barracks. It is noteworthy that the number of facilities demolished this year until August is more than the facilities that were demolished throughout the past year, noting that the demolitions stopped during the emergency period that was taken to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. Last July, more than 20 houses were demolished in occupied East Jerusalem, half of them self-demolished. During the first 10 days of August, ten houses were demolished; 7 were self-demolished.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Sosiyia village, south of Yatta in southern Hebron. IOF were deployed between Palestinains’ house while Israeli Civil Administration officers demolished and confiscated Ahmed Jaber Hammad Nawaj’ah’s 30-square-meter tent built of steel columns and sheds. IOF also confiscated Mahmoud Khaled Nawaj’ah (32)’s concrete mixer and 10 steel columns, in addition to handing him a cease-construction notice to his under-construction room, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • On the same time, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Fakheet area in southern Hebron. Israeli Civil Administration officers dismantled Jameel Mohammed al-‘Amour’s tent built of sheds and steel columns and confiscated it, under the pretext of non-licensing. The tent sheltered 8 members, including 4 children.
  • At approximately 10:30, IOF moved into Kafur al-Deek village, west of Salfit. They detained a concert pump and 2 trucks belonging to al-Marsah company while working in Hadi Nabil Naji’s plot of land. It should be noted that Naji’s land is threatened to be confiscated, as it is located in al-Sha’ab area. IOF forced the company’s owner, Fadi Mahmoud Sarsour, to sign a pledge not to transfer the concrete and work in Area C.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Maghayir al-‘Abeed area in southern Hebron. IOF demolished Shehadah Mohammed Makhamrah’s 100-sqaure-meter tent built of sheds and steel columns and used for breeding sheep, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • On the same day, IOF uprooted 100 olive seedlings and leveled agricultural lands in Khelet al-Nahlah area, south of Bethlehem. Hasan  Breijieh, Head of the Bethlehem office of Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission, said that IOF leveled ‘Amer Abu Zaghreet’s agricultural land (1.5 dunum) and demolished a retaining wall, under the pretext of being an antiquities area. It should be noted that Khelet al-Nahlah area is exposed to a settlement attack, as 1,200 dunums were seized in order to establish a settlement outpost called “Givat Eitam.”
  • On the same day, ‘Aziz ‘Eliyan implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished his house in al-Mukaber Mount area, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Eliyan said that 10 years ago, he added a 100-square-meter building to his old house in order to shelter his family comprised of 9 members. ‘Eliyan clarified that the Israeli Municipality issued a demolition notice against the new building and he managed to delay the demolition for several years. Two weeks ago, IOF raided his house and informed him about the final demolition decision. IOF gave him until the mid of August to implement the demolition or the municipality staff will do so.
  • At approximately 22:00, Ibrahim Abu Subi’ah implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished his house near Beit Safafa village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Abu Subi’ah said that he built his house in 2001 on his land near Beit Safafa village. Abu Subi’ah clarified that his 3-storey house (600 sqm) costs millions of shekels. He added that when he finished the construction of his house, the municipality fined him of NIS 150,000. Abu Subi’ah paid $ 60,000 to the lawyer who managed to delay and freeze the demolition decision for several times. Abu Subi’ah pointed out that he was shocked when IOF raided his house and handed him the administrative demolition notice. Abu Subi’ah immediately phoned his lawyer, Sami Rasheed, who attempted to delay the demolition, but in vain. Abu Subi’ah was forced to self-demolished his house to avoid paying the demolition costs for the municipality staff.
  • On Wednesday, 12 August 2020, Abu Jum’a family implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished his house in Khelet al-‘Ein area in al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Ibrahim Abu Jum’a said that he and his brother Mohammed were forced to self-demolished their house after the lawyer informed them that there was no legal way to stop the demolition of their house, and that the Israeli municipality would force them to pay the demolition costs estimated at NIS 70,000. Abu Jum’a clarified that they started to build their 180-square-meter house (2 floors) in April 2020 and the house was still under-construction. Abu Jum’a pointed out that he was handed the first demolition notice in 20 April 2020 and the second notice on 03 May 2020. He headed to the court which refused the appeal against the demolition and decided to implement the demolition within 14 days. Abu Jum’a added that his lawyer extended the demolition decision for 3 months and paid NIS 25,000. The lawyer phoned Abu Jum’a and informed him that he no longer could delay the demolition, so Ibrahim and his brother were forced to self-demolished their house.
  • Israeli Settler Violence
  • On Saturday, 01 August 2020, 10 sheep died  after they were poisoned while grazing them in a pastoral area, close to a settlement outpost established on Kherbet Jeb’eet lands in al-Moghair village, northeast of Ramallah. The sheep’s owner accused the settlers of intentionally poisoning  his sheep. According to information obtained by PCHR’s fieldworker that Fadel Ibrahim Hamed headed to a pastoral area in Kherbet Jeb’eet lands, adjacent to a settlement outpost, to graze his sheep. In afternoon, Hamed took his 20 sheep and returned to the barn. After that, he was shocked when he saw his sheep died together within  few minutes. He immediately brought a veterinarian to treat them , and it turned out the sheep were poisoned. As a result, 10 sheep died while the rest sustained pain.
  • At approximately 13:00, 3 siblings, a woman and 2 children, sustained bruises after Israeli settlers attacked them in Tal al-Ramida neighborhood in the central of Hebron. According to PCHR’s investigations, a group of Israeli settlers chased and attacked Marwa ‘Emad Abu Shmaisah (17) while she was present in front of her family house and carrying her niece, Tarteel Taninah (6 months). Marwa’s brother ‘Awni (21) attempted to confront the settlers, meanwhile, IOF arrived at the area and attacked the family as well. As a result, Marwa’s sister Madleen (27) sustained bruises in her right foot, her brother Saleh (15) sustained wounds in his hand. In addition, IOF arrested ‘Awni and took him to an investigation center in “Kiryat Arba’” settlement. Half an hour later, IOF took Marwa and her mother Fayiza Abu Shamisah to a police station to file a complaint. In the evening, all of them were released.

Marwa Abu Shmaisah said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:  ” At approximately 13:00 on Saturday, my niece Tarteel and I were heading to the grocery store near our house. When we were on our way back to the home, Israeli settlers chased me, spitted on me, cursed me, and grabbed my hair. I ran away towards the house and shouted. My brother ‘Awni (21) saw me, caught me quickly and pushed the settlers to keep them away from me. In the meantime, IOF arrived and gathered in front of our house. My family got out of the house and the settlers cursed them. One of the settlers threw empty bottle at us, wounding my sister Madleen (27) in her right foot. After that, an Israeli police patrol arrived at the house, raided it, arrested my brother ‘Awni, and took him with them. Half an hour later, the Israeli police arrived at our house again and asked me to accompany them to the investigation center in “Kiryat Arba” settlement in order to take my statement of what happened and my mother escorted me there. After interrogating us, we were released at 19:30, and my brother ‘Awni was also released. ”

  • At approximately 02:30 on Tuesday, 04 August 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Hafat Jel’ad” settlement outpost, which is established on Fer’ata village lands, northeast of Qalqilya, moved into the outskirts of the village. The settlers set 2 vehicles on fire; the first was a taxi belonging to Marwan Ahmed Taweel, while the second was a private car for Sharhabeel al-Taweel. The settlers also vandalized the vehicles with racist slogans.
  • At approximately 22:30 on Tuesday, 11 August 2020, Israeli settlers, from ” Yatizhar” settlement, southeast of Nablus, threw stones at a vehicle passing on the street. As a result, the vehicle’s windshield was broken. It should be noted that the vehicle’s driver Hisham ‘Adoun (54) along with his wife ‘Abla Mostafa al-Tamouni and their son Fathi (27) were coming from Tulkarm and heading towards ‘Orta village, southeast of Nablus.
  • Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

Gaza Strip:

On Monday, 10 August 2020, Israeli authorities  announced the closure of the Gaza Strip’s sole commercial crossing “Karm Abu Salem”. According to PCHR’s follow-up, on Monday, 10 August 2020, Israeli authorities  announced the closure of Karm Abu Salem crossing starting from Tuesday, 11 August 2020, except for the transportation of goods for vital humanitarian cases and fuel. According to Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the decision was taken “in response to the launch of incendiary balloons and breaching security calm.”

This decision falls under the framework of the complete, illegal and unhumanitarian closure policy imposed by the Israeli authorities on the Gaza Strip since June 2007, as the  Gaza Strip crossings have witnessed tightened restrictions on the movement of goods and persons.

Regarding commercial crossings, Israeli authorities continue to impose strict restrictions on the entry of goods classified as “dual use materials.” The Israeli authorities officially list 62 items as “dual use items” which contain hundreds of goods and basic materials. The items on the “dual-use goods” list are essential to the life of the population, so imposing restrictions on them contribute to the deterioration of infrastructure and the deterioration of economic, health and education conditions. Israeli authorities also continue to ban the export of Gaza Strip products, excluding limited quantities that do not surpass 5% of Gaza’s monthly exports before the closure in June 2007.

As to the crossing dedicated for movement of individuals, the extreme measures enforced by the Israeli authorities on the freedom of movement from and to the Gaza Strip via Beit Hanoun crossing are still in effect. Since early March 2020, restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities and the Palestinian Authority continued for the purpose of combating the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). These measures decreased and limited the number of persons and categories allowed to travel, as all categories were banned travel, except for limited humanitarian cases, and only patients are allowed to travel for treatment abroad.

On Wednesday, 12 August 2020, Israeli authorities announced  reducing the allowed fishing area off the Gaza sea to 8 nautical miles.

The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation stated that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered to immediately reduce the allowed fishing area from 15 to 8 nautical miles until further notice in response to the launch of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip.

Zakaria Baker, Head of the Fishermen Committees  in Gaza, said that Israeli gunboats chased Palestinian fishing boats off the Gaza sea and ordered them to sail within the allowed fishing area. Baker added that Israeli naval forces fired a barrage of live bullets and pumped water at the fishermen who were forced to flee.

West Bank:

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. IOF established 57 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 15 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Ramallah and al-Bireh:

  • On Tuesday, 04 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint on a main street leading to al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah.

Jericho:

  • On Tuesday, 04 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Jericho and on al-Mo’arajat road (between Jericho and Ramallah).
  • On Monday, 10 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern and western entrances to Jericho.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 29 July 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Ethna and Sa’ir villages and at the entrance to al-Fawar refugee camp.
  • On Friday, 31 July 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Shayyoukh village, on Beit ‘Aynoun road and at the southern entrance to Hebron.
  • On Sunday, 02 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Hebron and at the entrance to Ethna village.
  • On Monday, 03 August 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Fawar refugee camp, and at the entrances to Beit Ummer and Dir Samet villages.
  • On Wednesday, 05 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Halhoul city and at the southern entrance to Hebron.
  • On Thursday, 06 August 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Sa’ir, Beit Ummer and Raboud villages, and at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp.
  • On Friday, 07 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the western entrance to Hebron and at the southern entrance to Halhoul city.
  • On Saturday, 08 August 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Fawar refugee camp, at the entrance to Sima village, at the northern entrance to Yatta, and at the western entrance to Hebron.
  • On Sunday, 09 August 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Sa’ir, Wad al-Shajinah and Ethna villages.
  • On Monday, 10 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Sureef and Beit ‘Aynoun villages.
  • On Tuesday, 11 August 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Ethna and Kerza villages and at the entrance to al-Fawar refugee camp.
  • On Wednesday, 12 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp and at the southern entrance to Halhoul village.

Nablus:

  • On Saturday, 01 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at ‘Ainabous village square, southeast of the city.
  • On Sunday, 02 August 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints between Jaloud and Qasrah villages, at the entrance to Qaryout village and at al-Maslakh square, east of the city.
  • On Monday, 03 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at “Shafi Shamroun” intersection and at al-Moraba’ah intersection, south of the city.

Jenin:

  • On Thursday, 30 July 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ya’boud village, southwest of the city.

Salfit:

  • On Thursday, 30 July 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Merda village, north of Salfit.
  • On Saturday, 08 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Merda village, north of Salfit.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 30 July 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to ‘Azoun and ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb villages, east of the city.
  • On Sunday, 02 August 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to Qalqilya and at the entrances to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb, ‘Azoun and al-Nabi Iyyas villages.
  • On Sunday, 06 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Qalqilya and at the entrances to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village.
  • On Tuesday, 11 August 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Qalqilya and at the entrances to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb and Hebla villages.

Tulkarm:

  • At approximately 08:15 on Tuesday, 11 August 2020, IOF closed a hole in the annexation wall established on Far’oun village lands, south of Tulkarn. IOF also detained a bus carrying Palestinians while heading to Israel. IOF fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the Palestinians, and prevented them from entering and exiting the hole, the entrance for workers employed in Israel.

«Israeli» Ex-Soldiers Depict Life in IOF: Troops Are «Drunk On Power and Boredom»

«Israeli» Ex-Soldiers Depict Life in IOF: Troops Are «Drunk On Power and Boredom»

By Staff, The Guardian

Former “Israeli” soldiers depict their life in the military; day-to-day memories of their time in the military that continue to jolt them in post-army life. Regular house searches, arrest and hours at checkpoints fill their minds when they look back and wince.

When several dozen ex-combatants were asked about a time that most affected them, former First Sergeant Omry Balely remembered weeks of boredom at a roadblock near the parched Palestinian city of Ariha [Jericho].

“The general feeling was that it was a quiet and very safe area,” he says. “When you’re at a checkpoint, you’re in a daily routine of controlling the lives of other people. Who enters and who doesn’t is in your hands – a 19-year-old kid with power.”

They would get agitated and taunt the Palestinians, denying entry or exit to those who said the “wrong” thing, or cuffing one to a barrier for having incorrect documentation. Looking for amusement, his unit handwrote bogus VIP permits for the Palestinians who crossed regularly. They were legally meaningless but added some fun to the long hours in the sun.

Once, an older man in his 50s arrived. He had one of these paper VIP permits, but that day, he came with a donkey. “Where was the donkey’s VIP pass? the soldiers demanded.

“We all laughed at the situation, including the Palestinian,” says Balely, now 30. “But looking back a few years later, I realize what being drunk with power combined with boredom can do to you. You toy with the life and livelihood of a person for entertainment.”

Testimonies like these from 52 “Israel” Occupation Forces veterans are being displayed this month at a gallery in Tel Aviv alongside their portraits for an exhibition called EXPOSE[D]. For a decade, Quique Kierszenbaum, a news photographer and journalist, has been documenting those who agreed to speak out about the abuses they saw and often perpetrated. He did this with the help of Breaking the Silence, a not-for-profit organization founded in 2004 that has been collecting personal military stories, hoping it will show the public the reality of everyday life for Palestinians.

The whistleblower organization, widely derided in “Israel”, says abuse is systematic and institutionalized – an unavoidable part of five decades of occupation – rather than the rare the rare anomalies that such incidents are often explained away as. To date, Breaking the Silence has meticulously collected testimonies from more than 1,200 soldiers, although the vast majority do not have their identities revealed. This has led to the army and others questioning the accuracy of their accounts.

Yehuda Shaul, an ex-combat soldier, was one of the group’s founders and still runs it. His portrait forms part of the exhibition, one of the first people Kierszenbaum photographed. The accompanying text is a story he has shared for more than a decade, from his time in the early 2000s during the street fighting of the second intifada.

“I would shoot directly at Palestinian neighborhoods using a grenade launcher in response to Palestinian fire towards the [Jewish] settlements in the city,” the text reads. “It’s clear to me that many civilians were hurt by this fire. We did it without any identification of the sources of shooting from the Palestinian side.” A decision was later made to carry out what he calls “deterrent firing”, shooting every day before the Palestinians had even started attacking.

Elections Don’t Make israel (apartheid state) a Democracy

Elections Don’t Make Israel a Democracy

 by Ariel Gold

It’s official, Israel is racing towards early elections. But no one is talking about who can vote in them.

New elections were nearly called in November 2017 after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned in protest of Israel not going to war with Gaza and right-wing leader Naftali Bennett threatened to pull his party from the coalition if he was not given the defense portfolio. However, Netanyahu outfoxed Bennett by claiming that it was too dangerous a time to go to elections and retained the defense portfolio for himself (Netanyahu is now Israel’s prime minister, defense minister, and foreign minister), utilizing a slim 51% ruling majority.

Until last week it looked like the coalition would hold together with its small majority. But following the Knesset’s inability to reach agreement on a bill dealing with military conscription of the ultra-orthodox, and, much more importantly, leaked information that the ministry of justice was recommending Netanyahu’s indictment on charges of bribery, on Monday Netanyahu announced “It’s too difficult [to pass laws], we need elections.” With that, the Israeli national election is scheduled to take place on April 9.

Much of the already up and running election coverage is focused on the coming indictment of Netanyahu. Will he be able to stave off the attorney general until April? If he is reelected, will he try to get his coalition partners to pass a measure forbidding the prosecution of a sitting prime minister?

Other election issues under discussion are the certain increase we will see in pandering to settlers. Netanyahu has already begun that.

Absent entirely from the election conversation is the Palestinian population living under Israeli control without voting rights.

20% of Israeli citizens are Palestinian. They can vote in all Israeli elections and have representation in Knesset. However, these Israeli Palestinians represent only about one third of the Palestinians living under Israeli rule and military occupation.

Though the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are the official governments of the West Bank and Gaza, respectively, Israel is really in charge. Israel controls the borders, the currency, and the central bank. It collects taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA), maintains the right to carry out military operations on Palestinian land, and controls the amount of freedom, or lack thereof, that Palestinians are granted.

Last year, Israel approved only 54% of the permits that residents of Gaza applied for to travel outside of Gaza for vital medical treatment. Reasons for denying people in Gaza necessary medical treatment are often absurd, such as denying travel because a relative at one time moved from Gaza to the West Bank without Israeli permission. Besides the right of travel, Israel regulates the fuel and building materials available to Gazans, and has at times even controlled the amount of food imports according to the number of calories Gazans should consume.

Israel controls not only the exterior borders of the West Bank but what goes on inside as well. While the Palestinian Authority manages such things as utilities and infrastructure, for much of the West Bank, Israel is the ultimate authority. Israeli settler regional councils control 40% of West Bank land. Even in areas like Ramallah, supposedly under complete Palestinian Authority control, Israel reserves the right to enter the city at any time, to close streets and shops, burst into homes, and make warrantless arrests.

While the PA does maintain a judicial and penal system, one that itself is incredibly repressive, Palestinians are also subject to Israel’s military court system and such laws as Military Order 101, which bans peaceful protest. Though they are prosecuted in Israeli military courts and serve time in Israeli military prisons, Palestinians have no say over who is appointed to run the Israeli military, let alone the military courts.

Jerusalem was captured by Israel in 1967 and formally, and illegally, annexed in 1980. Common sense might follow that Israel would have then absorbed the East Jerusalem Palestinians, now numbering around 370,000, and made them Israeli citizens.

Rather than holding citizenship, however, Jerusalem Palestinians hold the status of permanent residents, allowing them to vote in municipal, but not national, elections. While this may at first seem a move in the right direction, a closer look reveals careful manipulation of demographics to ensure an at least a 70% Jewish majority at all times. Through such policies as exorbitant taxation, requiring constant proof of residency, and denial of family unification, since 1967 Israel has managed to revoke the residency of 14,595 Palestinian Jerusalemites. Still nervous about the demographics Israeli lawmakers in the Knesset – a body East Jerusalem Palestinians have no representation in – are currently working on annexation of three large settlement blocks surrounding Jerusalem to bring 140,000 Jewish Israelis setters into the municipality, while displacing the current Palestinian population.

Israel has no intention of ending its military occupation. 2019 will mark 52 years of occupation, including 12 years of siege of Gaza, and 26 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords that were supposed to create a Palestinian state. 600,000 Israeli citizens now live in the approximately 200 illegal Israeli settlements that cover the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Even since the announcement of new elections, 2,200 more settlement units have been advanced. While the two-state solution continues to be debated, the one apartheid state without voting rights for all, is barreling ahead.

A look at who is and isn’t allowed to vote in Israel/Palestine reveals Israel’s motivations:

  • Number of Jewish Israelis living in Israel proper, and East Jerusalem, and West Bank settlements: 6.589 million (Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics)
  • Number of Palestinian citizens of Israel (Palestinians who can vote in national elections): 1.5 million (Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics and Jerusalem Municipality)
  • Number of Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza who cannot vote in Israeli national elections: 4.88 million (Palestinian Authority Central Bureau of Statistics)

As we continue to watch the indictment and campaigning dramas of Israel’s 2019 elections and we continue to hear the absurd label of Israel as a democratic state, let’s not forget that the right to vote is only granted to 60% of the total population and only one third of Palestinians who live under Israeli rule.

Ariel Gold is the national co-director for CODEPINK. Follow her on Twitter at @arielelysegold.

 

Hassan Nasrallah Pays Tribute to Ahed Tamimi; NBC News Calls it the ‘Slap Heard ‘Round the World’

Posted on 

It’s a strange world we live in, to be sure. You wouldn’t think NBC News and Hassan Nasrallah would ever, in a million years, find any common ground.

But in the video above we see the Secretary General of Hezbollah paying tribute to 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi, referring to her slap of an Israeli soldier as a “bold and courageous stand” against the occupation of her village and homeland.

And  perhaps almost as amazing is an article published just yesterday by NBC News under the headline Slap heard ‘round the world: Ahed Tamimi becomes symbol of Palestinian resistance . So yes, even NBC News is now referring to young Ahed’s heroic act as the “slap heard round the world”–a term I first coined back on December 21, just two days after her arrest.

And just in case the Zionist trolls start bombarding NBC with complaints, I grabbed a screenshot of the headline as it appeared on the mainstream news network’s website. Here it is:

Written by F. Brinley Bruton and Lawahez Jabari, the article notes that Ahed’s trial, which has been postponed something like three or four times now as she has languished in an Israeli prison, is scheduled, finally, to resume today. And it also says Ahed has become a role model to other Palestinians, particularly to the youth. And included is a quote to that effect from a Palestinian teen who lives in East Jerusalem:

Sineen Amereh, 16, a Palestinian resident of Arab-majority east Jerusalem, has no doubt about Tamimi’s importance to her people’s struggle against the occupation, as well as to the role of girls in that resistance.

“She’s a perfect idol for all girls her age — nobody before has done something like that,” said Amereh, an 11th grader. “If we weren’t brave, then the Israeli soldiers would think we’re weak, think we will just give up.”

Amereh says she and others are scared of soldiers like the ones Tamimi faced, but her fellow teen’s actions have given her confidence to stand up to injustice.

“Everyone is afraid, but we will keep fighting because it is not easy to give up on your land, on your home,” said Amereh.

Stunningly, the writers also allude, albeit in a somewhat ambiguous manner, to Israeli ethnic cleansing.

It is commonly felt by Arabs in east Jerusalem and the West Bank — which Israel has occupied since the 1967 war with Syria, Jordan and Egypt — that Israel is deliberately driving Palestinians from their homes. From 1967 to 2016, some 200 Jewish settlements housing around 600,000 people were built on occupied land, according to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem. There are some 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank.

Israeli checkpoints limit the movement of Palestinians, and many cannot get to land that they say is legally theirs but lies near Jewish communities. Meanwhile, a process to create an independent Palestinian state as part of a “two-state solution” has foundered.

Admittedly, the article also quotes an Israeli Knesset member who says some nasty things, with Bruton and Jabari crediting her as “an expert on female and child Palestinian suicide bombers,” but then they go on to note what seems to be growing support for Ahed, even among prominent figures in the US:

She’s also garnered the support of a series of public figures in the U.S., including the N.F.L.’s Michael Bennett, the academic Cornel West, and the actors Danny Glover and Rosario Dawson, who signed a petition calling for her release.

The comedian Sarah Silverman provoked praise as well as outrage when she said on Twitter that Jewish people had “to stand up EVEN when — ESPECIALLY when — the wrongdoing is BY Jews/the Israeli government.”

They also note the rise to prominence of Ahed’s father, Bassem Tamimi, who, as I reported a few days ago, just made an appearance last week on a Washington D.C. public television station:

Amnesty International has called Bassem Tamimi a prisoner of conscience, while the European Union has labeled him a human rights defender.

Ahed’s cousin, 11-year-old Jana Tamimi, who goes by the name “Jana Jihad,” also gets a mention–along with the information that she has hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook.

Ahed’s younger cousin Janna, 11, does not stay at home. She calls herself the world’s youngest journalist and has some 275,000 followers on Facebook, where she goes by the name Janna Jihad. She’s been active since the age of 6 or 7.

Janna speaks English with an American accent, and finishes many of her statements with, “So yeah.”

“I wanted to be the voice of the Palestinian children and send their message to all the world,” Janna said. “Let this world know about our suffering our feelings, our parents getting killed, our sisters and brothers getting injured and arrested.”

And the article even includes Jana’s picture:

So how to explain something of this sort being published by a staid and stalwart of the mainstream such as NBC News? My guess is that it has a lot to do with evaporating support for Israel among liberal US Jews like Sarah Silverman–Jews normally thought of as “progressive except for Israel,” who, as we approach the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, are, somewhat belatedly, beginning to find the policies of apartheid and endless occupation to grotesque to stomach.

By the way, you can access Jana Jihad’s Facebook page here. The NBC report mentions that she has 275,000 followers. Perhaps we can boost that number up to a million.

It’s a strange world we live in, to be sure. You wouldn’t think NBC News and Hassan Nasrallah would ever, in a million years, find any common ground.

But in the video above we see the Secretary General of Hezbollah paying tribute to 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi, referring to her slap of an Israeli soldier as a “bold and courageous stand” against the occupation of her village and homeland.

And  perhaps almost as amazing is an article published just yesterday by NBC News under the headline Slap heard ‘round the world: Ahed Tamimi becomes symbol of Palestinian resistance . So yes, even NBC News is now referring to young Ahed’s heroic act as the “slap heard round the world”–a term I first coined back on December 21, just two days after her arrest.

And just in case the Zionist trolls start bombarding NBC with complaints, I grabbed a screenshot of the headline as it appeared on the mainstream news network’s website. Here it is:

Written by F. Brinley Bruton and Lawahez Jabari, the article notes that Ahed’s trial, which has been postponed something like three or four times now as she has languished in an Israeli prison, is scheduled, finally, to resume today. And it also says Ahed has become a role model to other Palestinians, particularly to the youth. And included is a quote to that effect from a Palestinian teen who lives in East Jerusalem:

Sineen Amereh, 16, a Palestinian resident of Arab-majority east Jerusalem, has no doubt about Tamimi’s importance to her people’s struggle against the occupation, as well as to the role of girls in that resistance.

“She’s a perfect idol for all girls her age — nobody before has done something like that,” said Amereh, an 11th grader. “If we weren’t brave, then the Israeli soldiers would think we’re weak, think we will just give up.”

Amereh says she and others are scared of soldiers like the ones Tamimi faced, but her fellow teen’s actions have given her confidence to stand up to injustice.

“Everyone is afraid, but we will keep fighting because it is not easy to give up on your land, on your home,” said Amereh.

Stunningly, the writers also allude, albeit in a somewhat ambiguous manner, to Israeli ethnic cleansing.

It is commonly felt by Arabs in east Jerusalem and the West Bank — which Israel has occupied since the 1967 war with Syria, Jordan and Egypt — that Israel is deliberately driving Palestinians from their homes. From 1967 to 2016, some 200 Jewish settlements housing around 600,000 people were built on occupied land, according to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem. There are some 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank.

Israeli checkpoints limit the movement of Palestinians, and many cannot get to land that they say is legally theirs but lies near Jewish communities. Meanwhile, a process to create an independent Palestinian state as part of a “two-state solution” has foundered.

Admittedly, the article also quotes an Israeli Knesset member who says some nasty things, with Bruton and Jabari crediting her as “an expert on female and child Palestinian suicide bombers,” but then they go on to note what seems to be growing support for Ahed, even among prominent figures in the US:

She’s also garnered the support of a series of public figures in the U.S., including the N.F.L.’s Michael Bennett, the academic Cornel West, and the actors Danny Glover and Rosario Dawson, who signed a petition calling for her release.

The comedian Sarah Silverman provoked praise as well as outrage when she said on Twitter that Jewish people had “to stand up EVEN when — ESPECIALLY when — the wrongdoing is BY Jews/the Israeli government.”

They also note the rise to prominence of Ahed’s father, Bassem Tamimi, who, as I reported a few days ago, just made an appearance last week on a Washington D.C. public television station:

Amnesty International has called Bassem Tamimi a prisoner of conscience, while the European Union has labeled him a human rights defender.

Ahed’s cousin, 11-year-old Jana Tamimi, who goes by the name “Jana Jihad,” also gets a mention–along with the information that she has hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook.

Ahed’s younger cousin Janna, 11, does not stay at home. She calls herself the world’s youngest journalist and has some 275,000 followers on Facebook, where she goes by the name Janna Jihad. She’s been active since the age of 6 or 7.

Janna speaks English with an American accent, and finishes many of her statements with, “So yeah.”

“I wanted to be the voice of the Palestinian children and send their message to all the world,” Janna said. “Let this world know about our suffering our feelings, our parents getting killed, our sisters and brothers getting injured and arrested.”

And the article even includes Jana’s picture:

So how to explain something of this sort being published by a staid and stalwart of the mainstream such as NBC News? My guess is that it has a lot to do with evaporating support for Israel among liberal US Jews like Sarah Silverman–Jews normally thought of as “progressive except for Israel,” who, as we approach the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, are, somewhat belatedly, beginning to find the policies of apartheid and endless occupation to grotesque to stomach.

By the way, you can access Jana Jihad’s Facebook page here. The NBC report mentions that she has 275,000 followers. Perhaps we can boost that number up to a million.

100 years after Balfour: The reality which still shames israel

Peter Oborne

OCCUPIED WEST BANK – Next week, exactly 100 years will have passed since British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour wrote his famous letter to Walter Rothschild, promising that Britain would help to create a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.

Current prime minister Theresa May says that the Balfour Declaration was “one of the most important letters in history”. It led within barely three decades to the creation of the state of Israel. No wonder then that Benjamin Netanyahu flies to London next week to celebrate its anniversary.



It’s understandable Palestinian leaders weren’t invited. But they weren’t even consulted.

This is wrong. The Balfour Declaration not only promised to deliver a homeland for the Jews. It also promised that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”.

Has this promise been kept?

I flew to Israel and the West Bank to find out. The treatment of the Palestinians I witnessed is not just physically degrading for them. It is also morally degrading for the Israelis as well.

Hebron: Closed city for Palestinians

I drove to the West Bank city of Hebron, about an hour’s drive south of Jerusalem. When I typed “Hebron” into Waze (the local equivalent of Google Maps) a warning flashed up: “This destination is a high-risk area or is prohibited to Israelis by law.”



October 2017: The upper road is for Israeli vehicles, the tunnel for Palestinians (MEE)

Israeli settlers, however, occupy an area of houses above the ancient market, where they are guarded by the Israeli army.

These soldiers – I’d guess at least one per settler – stand idly by as the settlers harass, persecute and assault the local population.

Palestinians said that only that morning, a masked settler had attacked two children aged 10 and 11 in the streets. I was told the soldiers made no attempt to intervene.

Such incidents, locals said, are common. In October 2015, student Dania Ersheid from Hebron was shot dead at a checkpoint. She was 17.


March 2013: A Palestinian protester is arrested by Israeli soldiers during protests in Hebron against the closure of Shuhada Street, the one-time heart of the city (AFP)

According to Breaking the Silence – an NGO which publishes testimonies of Israeli army veterans who have served in occupied Palestine – close personal ties between settlers and the military, combined with the fact that as Israeli citizens settlers are legally answerable not to the army but the police, means that soldiers often do nothing to protect Palestinians from settler violence.

The Israeli army has created a ghost town in parts of Hebron’s Old City. In July, Unesco’s heritage committee gave heritage status to these areas, much to the anger of Israel.

The ancient markets are mainly closed because of “security reasons”. More than 1,000 houses have been shut up and more than 1,300 shops have been closed.

I walked through this desolate area. Slogans such as “Hevron Yehudit” – “Hebron is Jewish” – have been scrawled on the walls. The Star of David was sprayed on the doors of many shops. The names of the streets have been changed from Palestinian to Hebrew.

I reached the Ibrahimi Mosque, known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, where it is thought that Abraham, Isaac, Sarah, Jacob and Leah are buried.



October 2017: An Israeli army checkpoint blocks off a street in Hebron (MEE)

This is one of the most significant religious sites in the world. It marks what Jews, Muslims and Christians have in common. All of us (I am a Christian) worship the God of Abraham.

If the magnificent teachings of these three great religions is to have any meaning, then all of us should come together at this site.

But there was an invisible line in the street outside which Palestinians may not cross. A Palestinian woman ventured too far along the road. A soldier asked her: “Are you Muslim?” 

Unequal in death as in life

Inside, the site is divided, as so often is the case in Israel and occupied Palestine. One third is set aside for Muslims and two thirds are set aside for Jews.

The partition was built after 1994, when an Israeli settler called Baruch Goldstein, who emigrated from the United States, entered with a machine gun and shot dead 29 Muslim worshippers in cold blood. More were killed outside the hospital by the Israeli army amid protests.

Not far away is a little museum. I went in. It was empty and unattended. I called out.

A lady came out of a back room and showed me around. The first room was dedicated to the ancient Jewish presence in Hebron. The second concentrated on the massacre of Jews by Arabs in 1929, part of wider tension over access to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. It contained horrifying and vivid contemporary photographs and testimony of the atrocity, during which 69 Jews were killed.

This museum helped me to understand the absolute moral and religious certainty felt by the settlers that Hebron belongs to them. For them it is Arabs, not Jews, who are the usurpers.

As I left, I told my guide how moved I had been by the testimony of the 1929 atrocity. Then I asked her why her museum didn’t also mark the 1994 murder of Arabs by Goldstein.



February 1994: The aftermath of the massacre at the Tomb of the Patriarchs (AFP)

She replied that there was no comparison, because the murder of Jews in 1929 had been systematic, while, she said, Goldstein was a deranged individual acting on his own.

Afterwards I drove up to the nearby settlement of Qiryat Arba, where Goldstein is buried. A guard nodded me through the entrance gate.

Israeli authorities did destroy a shrine and prayer area that had been built after the Knesset passed a law prohibiting monuments to terrorists. The grave and plaque with the engraving, however, remained.

I found the grave behind a row of shops in a public park. Part of the Hebrew inscription read: “To the holy Baruch Goldstein, who gave his life for the Jewish people, the Torah, and the nation of Israel.” Beside the grave, a glass container contained two candles and some spent matches. Mourners had also individually laid many small stones, part of the Jewish mourning tradition.

I walked back to the shops and tried to talk to settlers. Most worked in the military or the police. They courteously refused to answer my questions.

I found a woman who said she had known Goldstein. “He was my doctor,” she told me. “He was a wonderful man. He was an amazing person who took care of the Arabs and the Jews as well.”

She said that she had come from the United States to Qiryat Arba as a child and that she was “against violence on both sides”. As for Goldstein, she felt “there was something that pushed him over. There was a lot of violence on both sides at the time.”

But the woman insisted that there was nothing “symbolic” about Goldstein’s grave in Qiryat Arba. He was buried in the settlement, she said, because he could not be buried in nearby Hebron.

It needs little imagination to gauge how Israelis would react if a Palestinian who had shot dead 29 Jews in cold blood was given such a prominent resting place 

It needs little imagination to gauge how Israelis would react if a Palestinian who had shot dead 29 Jews in cold blood was given such a prominent resting place in a West Bank town or village.

Bear in mind many Palestinians killed in attacks on Israelis are buried in secret cemeteries with unnamed (but numbered) graves. This means that the families of the dead cannot visit their loved ones.

Yet the religious terrorist and mass murderer Goldstein rests in peace in an honoured place in the Israeli settlement where he lived. This is but one example of the dual system in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Palestinians are subject to military law. Settlers are Israeli citizens, with all the protections of civil law.

Schools, homes, hope crushed

When I visited Israel 10 years ago with the lobby group Conservative Friends of Israel, my guides portrayed settlers as wild men and women who act independently of government in pursuit of a special religious vision.

I have to admit that before last week’s trip, I had wholly failed to grasp the extent to which the settlers have become part of the basic apparatus of the Israeli state.

There is colossal investment in infrastructure, roads, services and security for settlers. Meanwhile basic amenities and rudimentary security are denied to the Palestinians or  – as the Balfour Declaration defines them – “the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”

In the West Bank, these “non-Jewish communities” are vulnerable to arbitrary arrest and detention. Their houses get demolished without warning. They live Kafkaesque lives subject to the whim of inaccessible and largely hostile authorities, with none of the rights that come with citizenship.



April 2016: A Bedouin man next to the rubble of his home, destroyed by Israeli army tractors in Khirbat Tana, near Bait Furik, West Bank (AFP)

Checkpoints make even small journeys laborious, unpredictable and often impossible. Their life is dedicated to clinging on by their fingernails to their land while the settlers desperately try to prise it away.

Let’s meet Abdul Rahim Bisharat, a Bedouin chief who lives in al-Hadidiya, an isolated hillside encampment above the Jordan Valley.

Bisharat, 67, told me how the Israeli army had confiscated his livestock, shot his animals from jeeps and even helicopters, and repeatedly bulldozed his home.

At one stage they attacked his tents 32 times in just 16 days, he said.

As we spoke, Bisharat’s 10-year-old daughter Somood served us tea. Her name means “steadfastness” in Arab: she was born while Israeli bulldozers were demolishing the camp.

Somood’s education is a problem. Bisharat told me how he had built a school, only for it to be destroyed by the Israeli army. He tried to build a kindergarten. That was also destroyed.

In desperation the Bedouins decided to send their children to a school many kilometres away. This meant improving the track from the camp to the main road. But when they did this, the Israelis demolished their work.


February 2016: Palestinian bedouin children attend class near the Jewish West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim, after the Israeli army dismantled classrooms and homes funded by the French government (AFP)

The Israelis appear to be out to destroy the Bedouin way of life. That means driving them off their lands. It means the destruction of homes and livestock. It also means denying them access to water.

Traditionally the Jordan River has been their main source of water, but the Bedouin are denied access because the river is a military zone.

The Bedouin take water from streams. But the Israelis dig deep artesian wells to access the underground water supply, so the streams have mainly dried up. Now they have to buy water from the same Israelis who took it from them.

The sheikh said that when the occupation of the West Bank started in 1967, his camp had included some 300 families amounting to 2,000 people. Now, just 16 families are left, scarcely amounting to 100 people.

“Some have sold their sheep and become workers in settlements,” he told me. “Others are unemployed. All the time we are chased and expelled from one area or another.”

How UK government still echoes Balfour

The Israelis want to relocate the Bedouin to what are are frequently called townships and end their ancient nomadic way of life.

There is a deep paradox lurking here. The Israelis impose their own arbitrary system of law on the West Bank. Yet the Israeli occupation is itself illegal under international law.

Theresa May’s exclusion of Palestinians from her celebration reflects the exclusion of Palestinians from the Balfour Declaration 100 years ago

Yes, the Jews have the national homeland promised by the British a century ago. I wholeheartedly concur with a common British view that no other people have suffered as much as the Jews at the hands of persecutors throughout their extraordinary history.

That is why I have always supported the existence of an Israeli state.

But May’s exclusion of Palestinians from her celebration next week reflects with uncanny accuracy the exclusion of Palestinians from the Balfour Declaration 100 years ago.

The British treated the Palestinians as non-people then, and still treat them as non-people today. I believe this scornful neglect may be even more damaging for Israelis than it is of the Palestinians themselves because it is such a betrayal of the idealistic and humane vision that brought Israel into being.

– Peter Oborne won best commentary/blogging in 2017 and was named freelancer of the year in 2016 at the Online Media Awards for articles he wrote for Middle East Eye. He also was British Press Awards Columnist of the Year 2013. He resigned as chief political columnist of the Daily Telegraph in 2015. His books include The Triumph of the Political Class, The Rise of Political Lying, and  Why the West is Wrong about Nuclear Iran.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Photo: Abdul Rahim Bisharat, a Bedouin chief who lives in al-Hadidiya, an encampment above the Jordan Valley (MEE), is interviewed by Peter Oborne

#Ireland Deportations and Harassment of Irish Group Traveling to West Bank

Deportations and Harassment of Irish Group Traveling to West Bank

By Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin,

A trip to Palestine resulted in deportations and harassment by security as the Israel authorities step up attempts to intimidate or frighten future travelers to the area. During our trip we experienced CS gas, checkpoints, apartheid in action and military harassment of Palestinians. Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin relates his experiences as a member of the group.

Departure

I joined the group in Dublin airport on the morning of September 8th and we flew out to Istanbul where we waited in a transit area cafe for a couple of hours. As it turned out our flight departure lounge for Tel Aviv was next to the cafe where we were sitting and we noticed that an extra layer of security was being prepared by ground staff for the Tel Aviv flight. After boarding, and a smooth Turkish Airlines flight to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, we disembarked and queued up for passport control. I was on my own and after 2 or 3 questions (what was the purpose of my trip, had I been to Israel before, etc). I was given a one month visa and waved through.

Meanwhile, however, trouble was brewing as I could hear the two Irish girls at the kiosk next to me being asked to bring the group leader over. I went directly through to the arrivals hall as I had not checked in any bags. Then began a long wait as myself and the few who got through unhindered discovered that security had rounded up as many of the group as they could find including those who had decided to wait in the luggage hall rather than in the arrivals hall. In all 21 were detained and 6 questioned, and of those 4 were deported (Elaine Daly, Fidelma Bonass, Joan Nolan and Stephen McCloskey) a few hours later. The four who were detained were informed that they were being deported to prevent ‘illegal immigration’ even though they had valid passports and return tickets. Around 4am the others were released and we finally boarded the bus and made the journey to our hotel in Bethlehem.

West Bank wall and turnstiles

Fact Finding Program

Our tour, though coordinated in Dublin, was organised by the Siraj Centre, a non-profit organization licensed by the Ministry of Tourism and based in Palestine. Our Fact Finding Program included meetings with prominent peace activists, political officials, human rights organizations, settlers and Jewish tour guides. This makes the deportation of our group leader, Elaine Daly, even stranger as she has been organising trips with the Siraj Centre every year from Ireland since 2006.

Sat 9th Sept: Day 1 Bethlehem

On our first morning we attended a talk by Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh, a local university professor and activist, at the Natural History institute who emphasised the strong link between biodiversity, political struggle for the land and its safeguarding for future generations. It was interesting to note that it had been his son who had first drawn the infamous ‘shrinking’ map of the Palestinian territories showing their loss of land from 1946, 1947, 1967 to the 2000s.

Entrance to Aida refugee camp

CS gas

Afterwards we headed over to the Lajee Center, a cultural centre beside the main Palestinian refugee camp in Bethlehem for a talk and a traditional dance display from the local children. Soon however they switched off the air-conditioning and when we asked why we were told that tear gas was coming through the system. Directly outside the window local youth were throwing stones at the Israeli army at the far end of the road. Soon more and more tear gas came into the building and the windows and doors were shut. For most on the tour it was their first experience of the burning effects of CS gas yet for the members of the Lajee Center it had become merely a nuisance. After about a half hour we were able to leave and go for a short tour of the area. We passed under the arch of Aida camp with a giant key symbolising the principle that Palestinian refugees, both first-generation refugees and their descendants have a right to return. On our left were simple concrete buildings while on the right the street is cut off from Jerusalem by the Israeli West Bank wall and covered in murals and graffiti.

Wall mural, Aida refugee camp

Sun 10th Sept: Day 2 Hebron

The next day on the way to Hebron we stopped off at a small park beside a main road containing the tomb of Baruch Goldstein, the religious extremist who carried out the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in Hebron. Goldstein killed 29 Palestinian Muslim worshippers and wounded another 125. He was then overpowered and beaten to death by the survivors. Goldstein was not allowed to be buried in a Jewish cemetery but his current burial site still attracts Jewish extremists. We drove on to the Cave of Patriarchs or Ibrahimi Mosque where the Goldstein massacre took place. There are now two separate entrances, one for Muslims and one for Jews, both of which we were able to enter. This building is over 2,000 years old is believed to be the oldest continuously used prayer structure in the world. However, it was outside the Mosque at the military checkpoints we witnessed Israeli apartheid for the first time. Palestinians are barred from the using the street and our guide was apprehended by two soldiers. Our group complained to the soldiers but only our guide responded saying he would get a taxi and meet us elsewhere. In the end, the group spontaneously applauded our guide for his patience and perseverance as he was removed from the area. Our waiting bus had only been 50 metres around the corner…

Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron

We walked through streets of Hebron going through different stages of clearance. In some places only a few Palestinians were left in the old stone buildings and Israeli street signs had been erected pointing to Jewish places of interest. In other streets nets had been used to stop settlers throwing objects on the shoppers below. Afterwards we were brought to meet with a settler where some asked questions about the settlements and their legality but this ended up with some storming out and others realising how it easy it was to become an Israeli citizen and participate in the land confiscations.

Mon 11th Sept: Day 3 Jerusalem

Our guides were Palestinian and Jewish and both were equally as good when it came to explanations and answering questions from our group. As we drove through East Jerusalem it was pointed out by our Jewish guide that Palestinians pay taxes yet their areas had bad roads and poor rubbish collection services.

Tues 12th Sept: Day 4 Nablus

In Nablus we visited Jacobs Well Church, and then to Balata Camp to meet with a representative from the Yafa cultural Center. The centre was set up in 1996 by the Committee for the Defence of Refugee Rights and offers a range of educational and creative programs to camp residents. We were brought around the closely-built neighbourhoods of the camp where some ‘streets’ were less than one metre wide. After lunch we had a tour in the old city of Nablus and visited the Samaritans Museum. The bustling old city gave us a feel for what many areas should have looked like and felt like without occupation.

Yafa cultural Center, Nablus

Wed 13th Sept: Day 5 Ramalah

We began the day driving to Ramalah to meet with a speaker from Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS). BDS has become an extensive movement against Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism. It is also a Palestinian-led movement made up of unions, academic associations, churches and grassroots movements across the world. We also met with a representative from Al Haq, an independent Palestinian non-governmental human rights organisation also based in Ramallah. According to their website: ‘Al-Haq documents violations of the individual and collective rights of Palestinians in the OPT, irrespective of the identity of the perpetrator, and seeks to end such breaches by way of advocacy before national and international mechanisms and by holding the violators accountable.’ In the afternoon the group were brought on a sightseeing tour of Jerusalem which I did not participate in due to feeling unwell. Instead, I went with our Palestinian tour guide back to Bethlehem on the public bus instead. As the bus approached the wall we all had get off and pass through the many turnstiles and barricaded-off pathways to get to the other side of the wall. The queues moved quickly enough as the military generally do not carry out checks on Palestinians going home to the West Bank from Jerusalem in the evening. It is in the early morning that the long queues form as workers are stopped and permits scrutinised on the way to work in Jerusalem.

Old City, Nablus

Thurs 14th Sept: Day 5 Bethlehem

The next day I went back to Jerusalem from Bethlehem on public bus No. 231. At a major checkpoint a male and female soldier got on the bus while about a third of the bus got off to have their permits checked outside. They questioned a Palestinian woman with children for about ten minutes on the bus before suddenly leaving the bus again and letting the others back on. These checks, the roadworks and traffic jams into Jerusalem added up to about 30 minutes onto our journey, a journey which should have taken only around 20 minutes. In the centre I crossed the road and entered into the Old City through Herod’s Gate. I headed through the old city markets to the Al-Aqsa Mosque but at various Israeli military check points I was stopped and informed that the Mosque was only open in the mornings. There were 4 or 5 groups of about 20 Israeli soldiers each walking and singing down the narrow streets towards the Western Wall. The area was being prepared for a swearing-in ceremony for Paratrooper recruits taking place that evening. After walking the Via Dolorosa and around to the Damascus Gate I got the bus back to Bethlehem. Later, after dinner with the group in a Palestinian restaurant in Bethlehem, a few of us took a taxi to visit the Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel about ten minutes drive away. The ‘Walled Off’ sits beside the massive wall which is covered in graffiti executed in many styles by various artists. Boasting the ‘worst view in the world’ the lobby contains a collection of art and there is a museum upstairs. People sat outside on the veranda between the hotel and the wall having a quiet drink in this most incongruous of places.

Mural near ‘Walled Off’ hotel

Fri 15th Sept: The Dead Sea

For our last day the group decided to visit the Dead Sea. After arriving at the resort, getting to the water’s edge meant walking down layer after layer of beaches as the Dead Sea evaporates. The recession of the water’s edge is believed to be about 1 m (3 ft) a year. The speed and breadth of the recession of the Dead Sea was a fitting symbol for the recession of the West Bank itself as more and more settlements and walls reduce further the size of the Palestinian territories.

Early the next morning we were back on the bus to Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion airport where there was some anxiety as the security checks were known to be more stringent in the departures area than in arrivals area. (Why? a form of damage limitation?) Once again our group was held up to the last minute for our flight to Istanbul. We had a much more pleasant time in Dublin airport where a welcoming committee was waiting for us with a Palestinian flag. Elaine and the other deportees had decided to hold off publicising the deportations so as not to create any unnecessary difficulties for the rest of the group’s departure from Tel Aviv. Of course, our problems were nothing compared to the daily experiences and hardships of the Palestinian people being forced through turnstiles, having to obtain multivaried permits, losing land and dwellings, enduring constant military checks and an oppressive political/legal system (like the 17C Penal Laws in Ireland) all because of a particular nationality or religion. The trip left an indelible impression on us as individuals and as a group which would not be easily removed by the self-serving rhetoric of an all-powerful occupying force.

Since our return the issue of the deportations has been raised in various articles in the national newspapers. It has also been brought up during question time in the Dáil (the Irish parliament). Despite not being able to return to the West Bank again, Elaine is already planning to organise two trips to the West Bank from Dublin for 2018. All aboard!

Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin is an Irish artist, lecturer and writer. His artwork consists of paintings based on contemporary geopolitical themes as well as Irish history and cityscapes of Dublin. His blog of critical writing based on cinema, art and politics along with research on a database of Realist and Social Realist art from around the world can be viewed country by country at http://gaelart.blogspot.ie/.

All images in this article are from the author.

Israeli Settlers Spew Obscenity-Filled Racist Filth Over Loud Speakers in Palestinian Neighborhood

By Richard Edmondson

Trump’s special “advisor” on Israel, Jason Greenblatt, is now in the Zionist state spouting nonsense and complaining about Hamas, this after Israeli authorities took him on a “tour” of the Gaza border region. Meanwhile, not so very far away–in a Palestinian neighborhood in Israeli-occupied Hebron–Jewish settlers have terrorized residents by hurling profanity-laced racist insults over loud speakers.

Check out the video below, but be advised: it shows Jews from Kiryat Arba, an illegal Israeli settlement, roaming through the Palestinian neighborhood of al-Hariqah shouting through a loud speaker and using some of the filthiest, vilest language imaginable. The slurs are intended not only to demean Palestinians but also the Muslim religion.

Normally, I don’t post videos that are content-heavy with obscene language, but I decided to make an exception in this case so that people could see the level of depravity that exists among Israeli settlers.

The incident reportedly took place on August 24. This comes as Trump administration envoys are currently in Israel attempting to negotiate “peace.” It was back on August 15, I put up a post regarding the eviction of an elderly Palestinian couple from their home, commenting that a three-member delegation from the Trump administration was at that time about to embark for the Middle East. The delegation, I noted, consists of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner,  Greenblatt, and Dina Powell, a former Goldman-Sachs employee who also previously worked in the White House during the George W. Bush administration.

The three finally did make it to their destination. The New York Times reports on some of their meetings in Jerusalem and Ramallah in a piece that was published on August 25. This was one day after the settlers in the video above made their noxious, nauseating presence felt in al-Hariqah. This was also one day after I had put up a post entitled First a Kindergarten and Now a School: Are the Israelis Trying to Block Childhood Education? That post, just as a matter of interest, dealt with the Israeli destruction of Palestinian schools, notably the confiscation of mobile classrooms that were to have served more than 60 first-through-fourth grade students in the village of Jubbet al-Dib, near Bethlehem. The confiscation of the classrooms took place on August 22. The Israelis had already torn down a kindergarten just the day previous, and the theft of the classrooms on August 22 came just one day before the new school year was to have begun. On August 23, the first day of school, children showed up at the school in Jubbet al-Dib only to find the classrooms gone.

The reason I go to the trouble of mentioning all this is because Jason Greenblatt shows no indication of recognizing that Israeli settlements are an obstacle to peace. In fact, a report published Thursday by Ma’an News includes a quote from Greenblatt which suggests that the Trump administration’s envoy to Occupied Palestine believes the entire problem lies with Hamas:

“It is clear that the Palestinian Authority needs to resume its role in the administration of Gaza, as Hamas has substantially harmed the people of Gaza and has failed to meet their most basic needs,” he said.

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Hamas, but even that being said, Greenblatt’s comment is patent nonsense. Gaza has been under blockade for more than a decade. The blockade has been imposed by Israel, not Hamas. It is Israel that has failed to meet the “most basic needs” of the people of Gaza, not Hamas. Moreover, it is Israel as well that is closing Palestinian schools in the West Bank, not Hamas; it is Israel that continues to build settlements in violation of international law, notHamas; and it is Israel that maintains a grotesque occupation that makes it nigh impossible for people to do such simple things as move from one house into another. Watch the video in the tweet below, and notice the Palestinian family trying to get their household belongings through an Israeli checkpoint. Notice them handing items through the guardrail to a child on the other side who stacks them carefully next to a curb–only to have them re-confiscated by an Israeli soldier!

But yet in Greenblatt’s disingenuously fevered imagination, the blame for the Palestinian people not getting “their most basic needs” met has nothing to do with Israel. It’s all the fault of Hamas!

One other thing worth mentioning in all this is a tweet posted Wednesday by Greenblatt in which the Trump administration official expresses thanks to “COGAT” for helping arrange his guided tour:

The letters COGAT stand for “Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.” It is a unit within the Israeli Ministry of Defense whose responsibilities include coordinating with the Palestinian Authority while at the same time implementing Israeli government policies in the Occupied Territories. My post of August 24 actually included a mention of COGAT.

Within that post you can find an article written for Mondoweiss by Sheren Khalel, who, it seems, in the course of writing her report on the confiscation of the mobile classrooms, contacted COGAT for a comment. She was told by a spokesperson that the agency had issued “stop-work orders” on the school several days previously. But according to activists in the Jubbet al-Dib community, the stop-work orders were only to have applied to concrete bathrooms that were being built next to the mobile classrooms. This is what Khalel writes in her report: the bathrooms were the target of the stop-work orders, not the classrooms. But when the Israelis arrived on August 22, the bathrooms were left while the classrooms were confiscated!

And it is this very same Israeli government agency, COGAT, that Greenblatt expresses his hearty “thank you” to in the above tweet! The same agency that shut down a school by confiscating its classrooms!

As I said at the top of this post, Greenblatt is spouting nonsense. But this is hardly surprising. In regards to Israel, every US official over the past 50 years has ended up spouting the same. America is a nation under foreign occupation. This has become all too apparent to the rest of the world, and even Americans are now waking up to the seriousness of the problem.

But getting back to the Israeli settlers and their putrescent irruptions. The video you see above was filmed by a Palestinian volunteer with the Israeli B’Tselem human rights organization–a woman–who captured the footage from her window. Here is what she told B’Tselem about the incident:

“At 6:00 P.M. I went up to my apartment, which looks out over al-Hariqah neighborhood and the settlement of Kiryat Arba. At first I ignored the settlers’ party, but they turned the music up just when the muezzin called out for evening prayers from the mosque. They started mocking the prayer and insulting the Prophet Muhammad

“I saw a military jeep on the hilltop where the settlers were gathered. There were several other soldiers on the road below, which looks out over al-Hariqah Street that runs by the settlement. I began filming.

“The settlers began to use foul language and call out obscenities concerning me, Islam, and especially the Prophet Muhammad. The Israeli soldiers and police did nothing to stop them. This was not the first time: about a year ago, I documented settlers swearing, using foul language and calling out obscenities against the Prophet Muhammad while soldiers and police allowed them to continue.

“Life in al-Hariqah has become intolerable. The military repeatedly raids the neighbourhood and the settlers assault and harass us. As a Muslim, I was extremely offended by the insults hurled at the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. As a woman, I felt terrible hearing the foul language directed personally at me for filming them.”

As you can tell from her video (starting at about halfway in), once the Jewish settlers became aware they were being filmed, they started swearing at her as well. Maybe someone should take the time to share this video with Jason Greenblatt. Although a little voice inside tells me that even if he did devote the three minutes and twenty-four seconds needed to watch it, he would probably still insist that Hamas is the problem.

***

Trump’s Peace Envoy: Palestinian Authority Must Control the Gaza Strip

Ma’an News

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace envoy said on Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority (PA) must resume its control over the government in the besieged Gaza Strip during a tour of the Gaza-Israel border.

Jason Greenblatt voiced vehement opposition to Hamas’ rule in the small Palestinian territory, and his support of the PA to take back control of the besieged enclave.

“It is clear that the Palestinian Authority needs to resume its role in the administration of Gaza, as Hamas has substantially harmed the people of Gaza and has failed to meet their most basic needs,” Greenblatt said following the tour, which also included Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Yoav Mordechai.

Greenblatt said he had “learned a great deal” from the border tour, particularly concerning the “challenges” facing the Israeli army, Israeli civilians living near the border, and Palestinians living in Gaza, which he then singularly attributed to “Hamas’ mismanagement of humanitarian aid and its commitment to terrorist violence.”

Hamas and the Fatah-ruled PA have been embroiled in a more than a decade-long conflict since 2006, when Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections and a bloody conflict between the two groups broke out.

Hamas, the de facto leaders in Gaza, is often criticized by the international community and among Palestinians themselves, most notably owing to the group’s attempted rocket attacks on Israel, which rarely result in casualties, and what is seen as their mismanagement of the government in Gaza.

However, Palestinian frustrations have also continued to mount against the PA, as the semi-governmental body in the occupied West Bank has passed devastating policies in recent months aiming to plunge the Gaza Strip deeper into a humanitarian crisis in an attempt to force Hamas to relinquish their authority.

These policies have included halting medical referrals so patients can receive treatment abroad while simultaneously cutting funding to the local medical sector, cutting salaries to its Gaza-based employees, discontinuing payments to former prisoners of Israel, and dramatically reducing fundingfor Israeli fuel.

Greenblatt’s trip to the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel is part of Trump’s attempts at relaunching peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders that have remained stagnant for decades.

However, leaders and analysts have expressed doubt that Trump’s initiatives will lead to a peace plan, as Trump himself has remained elusive concerning his stance on the conflict, while a number of high-profile US officials, including Trump’s son-in-law and Chief Adviser Jared Kushner, are known to be staunch supporters of Israel.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also visited the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. The UN head demanded that Israel’s decade-long blockade on the territory be lifted, describing life in the besieged coastal enclave as “one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises” he had seen.

In 2012, the UN warned that Gaza could become uninhabitable by 2020 if current trends were not altered. However, a new report released last month by the UN said that “life for the average Palestinian in Gaza is getting more and more wretched,” and that for the majority of Gaza’s residents, the territory may already be unlivable.

israeli border police: World’s Cruelest Force

Israeli border police: World’s Cruelest Force

 

 I got to admit, I agree with Israel’s veteran journalist Amira Hass giving the Israeli border police that AWARD in her column at Israeli daily Ha’aretz on July 24, 2017.

I bet the award will pay Israeli border police handsomely. It is already training police forces in the United States, Britain, India, France, Denmark, Germany, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, etc. Donald Trump has contracted an Israeli company to built the US-Mexico border wall modeled on Israel’s separation wall.

Amira Hass shows her disgust over Israeli police actions during the recent banning of Muslim worshippers to enter Islam’s third  most sacred place – the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound which the Zionist Jews wrongfully claim to be their so-called Temple Mount (Temple of Solomon).

And maybe even more appalling than the sight of the police and the Border Police – and their arrogant, alienated and hostile sneers at the Palestinians – is Israelis’ delight at their attractiveness, heroism and sweetness,” Hass said.

The real heroes are of course the Palestinians. It’s heroism to constantly live in the shadow of people in gray uniforms and ammunition belts aiming their rifles (and the army of expropriating officials and settlers, whom the police are protecting). On Friday, before noon, these heroes once again came en masse to pray, despite the aimed rifles and the knowledge they might easily find themselves in areas where stun grenades, tear gas, sponge-tipped bullets and rubber-coated metal bullets would be fired at them,” Haas added.

Since 1920s, Zionist Jews have been feed their next generations hatred towards Muslims and Arabs based on their Babylonian Talmud against non-Jews.

The Price of israeli State Terror

Source

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

According to West Bank Palestinian journalists, Israeli-instigated violence from July 14 – 28 caused 15 deaths, about 1,400 others injured, some seriously.

Clashes resulted from unacceptable Israeli security measures imposed on the Al-Aqsa mosque and compound, mostly in Jerusalem’s Old City, elsewhere in the West Bank and Gaza.

Israel continues holding bodies of 13 Palestinians killed during this period – so far refusing to return them to families for proper Muslim burials.

On Friday, Israel lifted security measures and other restrictions imposed on the Al-Aksa mosque and compound.

The Islamic Endowment in charge of running the holy site confirmed all gates are open, Palestinian men and women of all ages free to enter the mosque and compound for prayers.

Over 100 detained Palestinians were released on Thursday and Friday on these conditions. Old City residents were banned from entering Al-Aqsa for two weeks, other Jerusalem residents banned from the Old City for two weeks, other Palestinians banned from the city for two weeks.

Palestinian victories are rare and nearly always short-lived. It’s just a matter of time before large-scale Israeli-instigated violence again occurs.

Besieged Gazans endure horrendous Israeli mistreatment, struggling to survive under dire conditions.

Elsewhere in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israeli persecution continued on Saturday, numerous Palestinians assaulted, many detained, including disabled ones in Hebron and Bethlehem.

Multiple raids happen daily in Palestinian communities. Hundreds are administratively detained uncharged without trials.

Separately, Netanyahu threatened to expel Al-Jazeera from Israel, claiming it’s “inciting” violence in Jerusalem’s Old City, especially around the Al-Aqsa mosque and compound.

“I have appealed to law enforcement agencies several times to close the Al-Jazeera office in Jerusalem,” he blustered.

“If this does not happen because of legal reasons, I will work to legislate the laws required to remove Al Jazeera from Israel.”

Israel rejects criticism of its policies – by media, groups and individuals, including bloggers freely expressing their views.

Repressive Knesset legislation targets speech, assembly, association and the right to dissent, Palestinians especially vulnerable.

Military censorship prohibits information published about its high crimes against peace. willfully suppressing what Israelis need to know, claiming national security priorities.

Discussing anything Israel considers classified information risks prosecution. Protests are prohibited for political reasons. Nonviolent resistance is suppressed, academic freedom endangered.

The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms (MADA) reported “51 violations of media freedoms in Palestine during June by Israeli and Palestinian authorities.

Palestine is illegally occupied territory, the entire population threatened by brutal Israeli repression – ongoing daily.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.

israeli forces kidnap 64 Palestinians in 2 days

Source

Israeli occupation forces kidnapped 64 Palestinians from occupied Jerusalem and West Bank, Palestinian and Israeli sources said. On Wednesday night, the Israeli occupation forces kidnapped 23 Palestinian civilians from their homes, while a 13-year-old school girl was shot and moderately wounded in her leg. Yesterday night, the Israeli occupation forces kidnapped 41 Palestinian civilians and shot wounded two others.

The Palestinians Prisoner Committee (PPC) said that the number of the Palestinians kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces included 21 minors -one of them is 11 years old. Spokespersons of the Israeli occupation forces confirmed the large number of kidnappings, but did not verify the number given by the Palestinian sources. However, it could be larger because the Palestinian sources depend on family reports. It is worth noting that this massive kidnapping campaign came ahead of a season of Jewish holidays during which the Israeli occupation imposes strict security measures on Palestinians restricts their movement. It also closes all border crossings and bans all kinds of travel and goods passage.

Palestine news

Thanks to israel, Jerusalem is a “City of fear”

City of fear

Israeli border police push Palestinian men as they try to cross through the Qalandiya checkpoint, between the cities of Jerusalem and Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, on 11 July.

Oren Ziv ActiveStills

 

A few days ago, I was driving through Qalandiya checkpoint for the first time since I came back to Jerusalem.

My dad, sitting next to me, had to yell “stop here!” at me as I was queuing behind a car at the checkpoint.

“You’re too close,” he said, “stop and wait for them to call you, otherwise they’ll shoot you and not even care.”

When I left here to begin my life as a university student four years ago, and despite my sense of general optimism, I never really believed that I would come back to a better and more hopeful Jerusalem.

Over the four years, I would come back during the summer and end up leaving again with a strong belief that things would only be worse the next time I’d be home.

Here I am now, four summers later, having earned my degree, and I believe Jerusalem is worse than it has ever been for its non-Jewish inhabitants, the Palestinians.

Despite this depressing assessment, I have been looking forward to come back to Jerusalem as it is not only the city that I grew up in, but it is the place where I want to embark on the journey of being a young adult.

Fear everywhere

Two years ago, I wrote about the pervasive fear we Jerusalemites feel in our own city.

Today, sadly, this fear is even more intense and tangible. It is not just fanatics or nationalist mobs that worry me, it is every armed Israeli – citizen, police and military – who could end my or anyone else’s life in a second for no reason and without anyone batting an eye.

Since last summer, the ugliness of life in Jerusalem has come to show.

Hundreds of Palestinians of all ages have been harassed, brutalized, arrested, shot or killed.

This is in a city where Israel’s slow, steady but systematic discrimination is forcing Palestinian children out of schools and Palestinian families out of their homes.

In April, Maram Salih Hassan Abu Ismail, a 23-year-old mother of two small children, reportedly five months pregnant, and her 16-year-old brother Ibrahim Salih Hassan Taha, were gunned down by Israeli personnel at the same Qalandiya checkpoint, in the occupied West Bank, north of Jerusalem.

Israel claimed the pair were killed during an attempted knife attack on soldiers, but eyewitnesses described an execution of two people who didn’t understand commands being shouted at them in Hebrew and presented no threat to anyone.

The private firm contracted by the Israelis to man the checkpoint carried out an “internal investigation” and absolved itself of any wrongdoing.

The siblings were among more than 220 Palestinians, as well as more than 30 Israelis and two Americans, who have died since a new phase of violence began last October.

And according to Israel’s B’Tselem human rights group, Maram and Ismail were among dozens of Palestinians killed when they posed no threat in slayings “tantamount to executions.”

Driving while Palestinian

On the day I drove through Qalandiya, I recall my dad reminding me repeatedly how I should be extra careful how I am perceived by Israelis while on the road as anything they deem suspicious could have fatal consequences.

It has become standard in recent months for Israelis to judge any driving irregularities or accidents to be deliberate vehicular attacks, prompting Israelis to attack the driver and ask questions later.

Last month, an Israeli driver plowed his car into a Tel Aviv restaurant, killing two people, before a mob pulled him from the car and beat him believing him to be a Palestinian attacker.

But the man had suffered a heart attack. He died, though it was unclear whether it was due to the beating or the heart attack.

Sometimes just driving around puts your life at risk. On Wednesday, three young men in al-Ram came under a hail of bullets from Israeli forces raiding the village north of Jerusalem. One, Anwar al-Salaymeh, 22, was killed. Another was critically injured and the third detained.

An Israeli spokesperson told the Ma’an News Agency that the soldiers “saw a speeding vehicle heading towards them” and opened fire.

An autopsy was ordered for al-Salaymeh, after it was discovered that he was shot in the back three times, challenging the Israeli narrative.

And during Ramadan, 15-year-old Mahmoud Badran was killed when Israeli soldiers fired on the car he and friends were riding in on their way home from a late-night pool party. In that case, Israel admitted the car was “mistakenly hit.”

Merely walking around in Jerusalem’s Old City for the first time this summer was an uneasy experience.

Anything deemed provocative by the pervasive Israeli police could have costly consequences. It is an environment of fear designed to make us Jerusalemites feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in our own city.

First resort

The killing of Fadi Alloun last October, and other instances of Israeli police shooting Palestinians as mobs cheered them on, are memories we cannot shake and reminders of the precarious nature of our continued existence in this place.

Newly revealed documents show that Israeli police have been authorized to use lethal force as a first resort against any Palestinian seen to throw stones or firecrackers.

For years, Israel claimed that lethal force was only a last resort – even though in practice Israeli forces killed frequently, without provocation and with total impunity.

But you would never see similar measures taken against Jewish stone throwers or attackers who harass Palestinians regularly across the West Bank. Instead, the attackers habitually enjoy army protection.

Every few days I wake up to news of Palestinians being shot for acting “suspiciously” or allegedly possessing a knife. In all these cases, Israel is judge, jury and, often, executioner, with no credible justice system in place to independently investigate such claims or killings.

I still remember a few years back when a man in front of me at Qalandiya checkpoint was kicked by soldiers, humiliated and reduced to tears as he was denied passage through the checkpoint.

He had been carrying a bag full of cooking equipment and chefs knives and he had multiple papers showing he was part of a culinary school in Jerusalem.

Today, a person in a similar situation would have been killed and no one would question it as the mere possession of a knife has become enough of an excuse legitimizing the summary execution of Palestinians.

Still standing

An internal police report exposed by the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz this week, revealed, to no surprise of any Jerusalemite, that Israeli Border Police in Jerusalem “deliberately provoke Palestinians” in order to get a violent response.

One such manufactured provocation in Issawiyeh, in January, led to a confrontation in which Israeli forces shot 12-year-old Ahmad Abu Hummus in the head, causing severe brain damage.

Social media is never lacking in daily videos documenting the regular harassment, searches and humiliation of Palestinian youths in Jerusalem that lead to similar violence.

It is weird living in Jerusalem right now, especially knowing that this situation only strengthens my determination to stay here, live here and fight for this city.

I know too that if I wanted to write about all the forms of abuse against Palestinians in Jerusalem, I would be writing endlessly for days.

It is a situation where the power and might of the whole Israeli state is determined to alienate Palestinian Jerusalemites. However, this cruelty and injustice only breeds further resistance and defiance.

They may deem our lives worthless, our dignity of no value, our existence an inconvenience, but I believe Jerusalem continues to stand tall and defy the oppression no matter how dark the times have become.

The USA has aided israel in denying human rights to Palestinians for decades

The U.S. has aided Israel in denying human rights to Palestinians for decades

By Robert Fantina | Mint Press | April 26, 2016

The establishment of the state of Israel is known throughout Palestine as the Nakba, or “Catastrophe.” As the British Mandate of Palestine ended throughout 1947 and 1948, at least 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from or fled their homeland, and another 100,000 or more were massacred.

Although the United States wasn’t an active party to the circumstances that led to the Nakba, the country’s long history with Israel has only been supportive of that nation’s barbarity — and that support has grown exponentially over the years.

In the U.S., the press framed Palestinian resistance as opposition to the Jewish state rather than an assertion of their own human rights. Scholar Michael A. Dohse wrote in “American Periodicals and the Palestine Triangle, April, 1936 to February, 1947”:

“Despite the fact that there was considerable evidence of the extreme nationalistic drive behind the Zionist movement, which was its motivating force, American journals gave a good press to the Zionists’ alleged goal of building a democratic commonwealth in Palestine. How this would be possible when the Arabs constituted two-thirds of the population and were opposed to Zionism, did not seem to be a relevant question to many of the magazines.”

This, of course, was in complete contravention of U.S. doctrine, even as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, which asserts that all men are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and “[t]hat to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” The consent of the governed — in this case, the Palestinians — was not to be considered.

Pre-WWII, pre-state of Israel

Months before the Balfour Declaration was made in November of 1917, declaring British support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson commented on the absolute need for self-determination. On May 27, 1916, he said: “Every people has a right to choose the sovereignty under which they shall live.”

Mr. Wilson continued his lofty rhetoric, telling Congress on Feb. 11, 1918: “National aspirations must be respected; peoples may not be dominated and governed only by their own consent.” Further, in the same speech on German-Austrian “peace utterances,” he declared: “Self-determination is not a mere phrase. It is an imperative principle of action, which statesmen will henceforth ignore at their peril.”

These and subsequent speeches by Mr. Wilson were troubling to his secretary of state, Robert Lansing. In his private journals, according to Frank Edward Manuel in his book “The Realities of American Palestine Relations,” Lansing wrote that such concepts were “‘… loaded with dynamite, might breed disorder, discontent and rebellion’. His neat, logical mind saw it leading the president into strange contradictions: ‘Will not the Mohammedans of Syria and Palestine and possibly of Morocco and Tripoli rely on it? How can it be harmonized with Zionism, to which the President is practically committed?’”

If the Palestinians ever relied on U.S. rhetoric to assist them in achieving the basic human rights that all people are entitled to, they were certainly to be disappointed.

Truman, Eisenhower

Following World War II, the world was anxious to make some kind of reparation to the Jewish people for the Holocaust. U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181, passed on Nov. 29, 1947, effectively partitioned Palestine into two states.

It is difficult to properly quantify the degree of injustice that this entailed. “Although Jews owned only about seven percent of the land in Palestine and constituted about 33 percent of the population, Israel was established on 78 percent of Palestine,” according to the Institute for Middle East Understanding. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were driven from their homes, with no voice in the decision that evicted them, no reparation for the loss of their homes and lands, and nowhere to go but refugee camps.

By this time, Harry S. Truman was president, and he offered full consent for this plan for reasons that will be familiar to readers today: He was subjected to intense lobbying by the Zionist lobby. He also felt that by supporting the establishment of Israel, he would be in a better position to be elected to a full term as president, having ascended to that office upon the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Lobbying and political considerations then, as now, trump human rights every time.

Mr. Truman was elected president in his own right in 1948, and was succeeded four years later by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who named John Foster Dulles as his secretary of state.

Mr. Dulles was familiar with the Palestine-Israel situation, and his sympathies clearly rested with Israel. In 1944, he played an active role in seeing that the platform of the Republican Party included support for a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine, and also that the platform called for the protection of Jewish political rights. Years later, he exerted a strong influence on the president under whom he served, setting the tone for the Eisenhower administration’s attitude toward Israel and Palestine.

Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter

Things appeared to take a turn with the administration of John F. Kennedy, who showed support for the right of return for refugees, as described in Paragraph 11 of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 of Dec. 11, 1948. That resolution affirms that “the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live in peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Government or authorities responsible.”

Israel, under David Ben-Gurion, used what has become a tried and true method to oppose this measure: The state’s founder and first prime minister called it a threat to Israel’s national security.

Ultimately, Resolution 194 passed, but has yet to have any effect.

Despite his apparent support for Palestinian refugees, Mr. Kennedy was the first president to elevate the U.S.-Israel relationship from that of simply two allies to a more enhanced bond. Speaking to the Zionist Organization of America three months before his election, he said, “Friendship for Israel is not a partisan matter, it is a national commitment.”

Following Mr. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, he was succeeded by Lyndon B. Johnson, who did not share his predecessor’s interest in resolving the refugee problem. The Democratic Party Platform of 1964, the year Mr. Johnson was elected president, included a provision to “encourage the resettlement of Arab refugees in lands where there is room and opportunity.” All talk of the right of return ceased.

The Johnson administration ended in January of 1968, when former Vice President Richard Nixon was inaugurated as president. Nixon had less obligation to Israel, having earned only about 15 percent of the Jewish vote. In his memoirs, he commented on Israeli arrogance after the Six-Day War of 1967, describing “an attitude of total intransigence on negotiating any peace agreement that would involve the return of any of the territories they had occupied.”

Unfortunately for Palestine, however, Mr. Nixon’s closest advisor was Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s national security advisor and, later, his secretary of state. Mr. Kissinger’s parents had fled Nazi Germany shortly before the start of the Holocaust, and he had visited Israel multiple times but had never set foot in an Arab country. With Mr. Nixon’s preoccupation with what he considered the “Communist threat,” Mr. Kissinger was perfectly content with the Israel-Palestine status quo. “Rather than make any effort toward the Arab states, much less the Palestinians, Kissinger felt the United States should let them stew until they came begging to Washington,” according to “U.S. Policy on Palestine from Wilson to Clinton,” edited by Michael W. Suleiman. With this attitude, nothing was done to further the cause of justice under this president’s terms in office.

When Mr. Nixon resigned in a fog of controversy and scandal, his vice president, Gerald Ford, became president. He served as a caretaker president until the next election, when he was defeated by Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter.

Although Mr. Carter has recently become a strong supporter of Palestinian rights, this was not the case during his single term as president. He presided over the Camp David Accords, a two-track agreement that was supposed to bring peace to the Middle East. The first of the two dealt with Palestine, and nothing in it was ever achieved. The second led to a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

Reagan, Bush

After one term, Mr. Carter was defeated by former actor and California Gov. Ronald Reagan. Like Mr. Nixon before him, Mr. Reagan saw Communist threats everywhere. Fearing a Soviet stronghold on the Middle East, he determined that strengthening ties with Israel would be an excellent deterrent. In 1982, he declared that the U.S. would not support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, nor would it “support annexation or permanent control by Israel.”

Following First Intifada in 1987, Mr. Reagan sent his secretary of state, George Shultz, to solve the problem. Mr. Shultz proposed a three-pronged strategy: convening an international conference; a six-month negotiation period that would bring about an interim phase for Palestinian self-determination for the West Bank and Gaza Strip; talks between Israel and Palestine to start in December 1988 to achieve the final resolution of the conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir immediately rejected this plan, claiming that it did nothing to forward the cause of peace. In response, the U.S. issued a new memorandum, emphasizing economic and security agreements with Israel and accelerating the delivery of 75 F-16 fighter jets. This was to encourage Israel to accept the peace plan proposals. Yet Israel did not yield. As Suleiman’s work noted: “Instead, as an Israeli journalist commented, the message received was: ‘One may say no to America and still get a bonus.’”

When Mr. Reagan’s vice president, George H.W. Bush, succeeded him for one term, the bonus to Israel continued unabated. Yet this was still not enough for Israel. Writing in The New York Times in 1991, Thomas Friedman commented on the state of relations between the U.S. and Israel during the Bush administration: “Although the Bush Administration’s whole approach to peacemaking is almost entirely based on terms dictated by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, the Israelis nevertheless see the Bush Administration as hostile.”

Clinton, another Bush, Obama

Following one term, Mr. Bush was succeeded by Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, who surrounded himself with Zionists, including CIA Director James Woolsey and Pentagon Chief Les Aspin.

In March of 1993, following clashes between Palestinians and Israelis in both Israel and the Occupied Palestine Territories, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin closed the borders between Israel and Palestine. This had a drastic detrimental effect on the lives and basic subsistence for at least tens of thousands of Palestinians. The Clinton administration chose to look the other way as Israel perpetrated this unspeakable act of collective punishment.

The administration of George W. Bush differed little in its treatment of matters related to Israel and Palestine from those who came before it. When Hamas was elected to govern the Gaza Strip in 2006, Mr. Bush ordered a near-total ban on aid to Palestine. Noam Chomsky commented on this situation:

“You are not allowed to vote the wrong way in a free election. That’s our concept of democracy. Democracy is fine as long as you do what we say, but not if you vote for someone we don’t like.”

Coming into office chanting the appealing mantra of “Change we can believe in,” current President Barack Obama proved to be another in a long line of disappointments. Like his predecessors, he’s vetoed any resolutions presented at the U.N. Security Council that were critical of Israel. Incredibly, after one such veto, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice made this statement:

”We reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity. Continued settlement activity violates Israel’s international commitments, devastates trust between the parties, and threatens the prospects for peace.”

Meanwhile, military aid to Israel from the U.S. continued unabated. This aid has reached nearly $4 billion annually under the Obama administration, and is likely to get another boost before Mr. Obama leaves office.

This is not unusual. According to conservative estimates, the U.S. has given Israel a staggering $138 billion in military and other aid since 1949. In 2007, President George W. Bush signed the first 10-year Memorandum of Understanding, granting billions to Israel every year. Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu are currently negotiating the new deal, which the prime minister hopes will guarantee even more to the apartheid regime.

Change that can’t come soon enough

Even if it didn’t come with Mr. Obama, change does seem to be on the horizon. With the explosive growth of social media, the general public no longer relies solely on the corporate-owned media for information. The horrors that Israel inflicts daily on the Palestinians are becoming more common knowledge. This includes the periodic bombing of the Gaza Strip, a total blockade that prevents basic supplies from being imported, and the checkpoint stops and verbal and physical harassment that Palestinians are subjected to on a daily basis in the West Bank.

It’s even entered the current U.S. presidential election. Sen. Bernie Sanders, seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, skipped the annual American Israel Political Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, convention in March. Additionally, he said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isn’t always right and that Israel uses disproportionate force against the Palestinians, and Mr. Sanders recognized that Palestinians have rights. Like skipping the AIPAC conference, these statements are all in violation of some unspoken U.S. code of conduct for politicians.

Yet the ugly history of the U.S., in its unspeakably unjust dealings with Palestine, created a stain that generations will be unable to cleanse. Total disdain for the human rights of an entire nation, and the complicity in the violation of international law and in the war crimes of Israel, are not easy to expunge. Mr. Sanders’ words and actions are only the manifestation of a larger change occurring in U.S. attitudes toward Israel and Palestine. Once that change is sufficiently great to impact the U.S. power brokers, real change will occur. For Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid, it cannot come soon enough.

Palestinians and moderate jews march together against the occupation

Israelis, Palestinians march together against the occupation

The new monthly march is held along a major settler highway, ensuring that Israeli settlers see Jews and Palestinians working together to nonviolently end the occupation

Hundreds of Palestinian and Israeli activists marched from the Palestinian village of Hussan to the main settler checkpoint in the southern West Bank Friday afternoon, protesting against Israel’s settlements and demanding an end to the 47-year military occupation.

The protest, which took place in an area of the West Bank under full Israeli control and where settlements are situated directly adjacent to Palestinian villages, was accompanied by Israeli army and Border Police forces the whole way. The march followed the southern West Bank’s main north-south highway, which meant it was in plain view of both Israeli settler and Palestinian traffic.

At the start of the demonstration, Israeli police arrested one of the Palestinian organizers, a member of Combatants for Peace, for reasons that were not apparent.

Israeli police arrest a Palestinian organizer of the protest, a member of Combatants for Peace, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli police arrest a Palestinian organizer of the protest, a member of Combatants for Peace, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The 200-plus marchers, among them members of Knesset from the Joint List Dov Khenin and Abdullah Abu Ma’aruf, as well as Meretz secretary general Mossi Raz, held signs demanding an end to the occupation, and promoting peace and dialogue. Some of the signs declared that peace is not just a dream, and, “it won’t end until we talk.”

Some of the activists also carried signs in solidarity with a left-wing Israeli activist who was arrested last week as a result of a right-wing hidden-camera ‘sting operation.’ A court gag order forbids the publication of the man’s name.

Jewish Israelis and Palestinians march along the major Hebron-Jerusalem highway in the southern West Bank demanding an end to the occupation, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Jewish Israelis and Palestinians march along the major Hebron-Jerusalem highway in the southern West Bank demanding an end to the occupation, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Activists hold mock sections of the Separation Wall during a protest against the occupation on the West Bank’s main Jerusalem-Hebron highway in full view of Israeli settlers, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Activists hold mock sections of the Separation Wall during a protest against the occupation on the West Bank’s main Jerusalem-Hebron highway in full view of Israeli settlers, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli settlers are not used to seeing Jews and Palestinians demonstrating together in what is normally an Israeli-army dominated space. That the protest took place in plain view of passersby, mostly setters, was intended to challenge their absolute control over the area.

No small number of Israeli passersby reacted angrily, cursing and even physically threatening the demonstrators.

Israeli settlers react to the anti-occupation protest along a major West Bank thoroughfare, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli settlers react to the anti-occupation protest along a major West Bank thoroughfare, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

“This occupation is an ongoing injustice for both nations,” MK Abdullah Abu Ma’aruf (Hadash) said. “This protest demonstrates that there is another way, a path of peace and hope and not despair. You can’t find another occupation like this in the 21st century. We need to end the occupation and create a Palestinian state along ’67 borders — two states for two peoples.”

Combatants for Peace co-director Sulaiman Khatib called on both Palestinian and Israeli activists to join the monthly protests marching on the “Tunnels Checkpoint” near the Bethlehem-area town of Beit Jala.

“We all know that there is no military solution,” Khatib said. “We need a third way, which is not just Israel and not just Palestine — a path of dialogue and joint nonviolent struggle.”

Jewish Israelis and Palestinians march along the major Hebron-Jerusalem highway in the southern West Bank demanding an end to the occupation, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Jewish Israelis and Palestinians march along the major Hebron-Jerusalem highway in the southern West Bank demanding an end to the occupation, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Yigal Elhanan, whose sister Smadar was murdered in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem, said at the protest: “We in the Bereaved Families Forum don’t want more families to lose their loved ones. Let’s stop this before that happens.”

israel delays ambulance causing death of 4 month old baby

Palestinian infant dies at Israeli checkpoint

A baby girl from the village of Sinjil, between Ramallah and Nablus in the occupied West Bank, died in the early hours of the morning on Thursday, 8 January. Nadeen Nasháat Jamal Asfour, who was only 4 months and 17 days old, passed away after the ambulance she was travelling in was delayed at an Israeli checkpoint between Beitin and Al-Bireh, just outside of Ramallah. An ambulance from the Palestinian Red Crescent responded to an emergency call in Sinjil after the child began to experience difficulty breathing after her mother had breastfed her that night.

Mohanad Darabee, a medic with the Palestinian Red Crescent who was at the scene, told the Palestine Monitor that the child was already in a perilous state when the ambulance collected her and her father to bring them to the hospital in Ramallah. In order to give the girl the best chance of survival, they left at maximum speed along the fastest route to the Ramallah Hospital. However, when they reached the Israeli DCO checkpoint, the medics saw that it was unmanned and that the gate had been chained shut, leaving no way through for vehicles. The ambulance crew immediately called another Red Crescent ambulance to come from Ramallah and meet them at the checkpoint, but at this point, baby Nadeen was fighting for her life. The ambulance from Ramallah eventually transferred the girl to Ramallah Hospital, but she was already dead by the time they arrived at the Emergency Response unit.

The extremely difficult weather conditions last week no doubt played a part in this tragic death, but the incident illustrates the difficulties Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have in accessing emergency medical care. Despite the best efforts of the local Red Crescent team, they were unable to transfer the baby girl to the hospital in time to receive lifesaving treatment due to the arbitrary nature of the Israeli checkpoint system in the West Bank.

This system gravely curtails the right of Palestinians to freedom of movement, as provided for under article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. International Humanitarian Law also provides that an occupying power must do its utmost to ensure the wellbeing of the local inhabitants and not disrupt their normal lives. Further, medical teams and sick or injured people must be guaranteed safe passage under international law, even in times of war. Sadly for this young child and her family, this episode was just another example of the daily violations of Palestinian human rights in the occupied West Bank.


The locked gate. Photo by Mohanad Darabee.

Testimony from an Israeli army Staff Sergeant on how Palestinians are being used as slave labour

For more testimonies from Israeli military see “Breaking the Silence” on  http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/

A checkpoint for Israel’s bank account

testimony catalog number: 101792
rank: Staff Sergeant
unit: Nahal Brigade
area: Jericho and the Jordan valley
period: 2006

We had a very tough time with this, morally speaking. This whole checkpoint was about Palestinians coming to work for Israelis in the Jordan Valley. It’s just loaded with Israeli exploitation of Palestinians. Loaded.

How do you see this at the checkpoint?
There’s the date harvest, the Palestinians are paid something like 50 shekels. ($12.73) or (£8.16)

Do you see this at the checkpoint?
Of course. I know how much they’re paid. They come every day at four in the morning or five o’clock, and go back at seven in the evening, exhausted. You see a guy exhausted from having worked hard all day, physically, and they receive 50 shekels a day. Great, I mean for date picking that’s what they get. That’s what the workers get. Now, I see this. Not only do they get 50 shekels for a day’s work, but on top of that I stand on them, they have to wait at my checkpoint and undergo that humiliating procedure of inspection. I mean, this whole checkpoint is in fact an economic checkpoint. You feel you’re on checkpoint duty not for the sake of Israeli security but for Israel’s bank account.

How is that related to the checkpoint?
Who goes through that checkpoint? Only Palestinians working in the Jordan Valley. They have nothing to look for there, just their livelihood. Nothing else. I mean, because of this livelihood there are families in between the areas, but originally the people from Akraba and the hill villages have nothing to look for in the Jordan Valley. These are two separate populations. Nowadays it’s already very connected, because when you work somewhere you get connected, and families come into being and stuff. But I am standing at that checkpoint so that Palestinians without work permits will not come through.

Why should I mind their not having work permits?
Officially, from a security point of view, because they were not cleared.

But what does that mean, not cleared? Do you know what prevents a person from getting a work permit?
Listen carefully: if a relative of the fourth degree, meaning your uncle’s grandfather, had once thrown a stone back in 1948, I’m not kidding you now, then you don’t get a work permit.

How do you know that?
I know that because we once asked a GSS agent about the criteria. We were told there is a very clear definition. If any family relation – fourth degree down – has ever been charged with an act of violence against Israel, no work permit will be issued. That’s one of the criteria. Now show me a person, I mean what’s the percentage of the population? Nothing. We’re at war with them for over fifty years now, clearly someone somewhere back on the family tree had thrown something sometime, you see? Now everything’s documented. So you get a 16-year old boy, all smiles, and the grandfather of the father of his brother is the guy who threw a Molotov cocktail in 1962. Now why would this guy bypass the checkpoint – to go on a terrorist attack? No. To get a day’s work done. So I’m his checkpoint for economic interests. Cool. Great. It’s shit. Beyond capitalism, socialism, never mind. Why do I as a soldier have to watch out for the bank accounts of the Jordan Valley settlers? No reason in the world. That’s corrupting occupation at its worst. Pure economic interests.  

Why US and Israel wants to ban this video…

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

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